‘It was all lies.’ Brittany Christensen, daughter of Chris Christensen Huntington School principal who jumped to his death after wife, Marlena accused him of abusing her and her two children – reveals her father was in fact the real victim at the hands of toxic abusive wife.
‘In his mind, he saw no other way out.’ The daughter of the California man who jumped to his death from a Disneyland parking structure last weekend did so according to the man’s daughter because he saw suicide as the only way out of his ‘toxic’ relationship with his ‘abusive’ wife.
Christopher Christensen, a Huntington Beach elementary school principal and musician, jumped to his death from a parking garage at Disneyland in Antioch on Saturday night.
The 51-year-old was facing charges of child abuse and endangerment and battery, according to Orange County court records. Charges that the educator insisted were the result of lies and falsehoods his ‘angry’ wife told police.
In a letter he posted on Facebook before he died, the educator blamed his wife, Marlena and mother of his stepchildren, claiming that during an altercation last month her ‘anger got the best of her’ and she called police, whereby she allegedly filed false claims of abuse against him. Allegations that could potentially derail the educator’s career.
Despite denying his wife’s claims, law enforcement put the man in jail for two nights, along with charging him with the two domestic violence-related offenses, with bail set at $10,000.
Victim of wife’s lies?
In an exclusive with the Dailymail, Chris Christensen‘s daughter claimed that it was actually Marlena who was abusive, and accused the divorced mother of tearing apart her family.
Brittany Christensen, 26, is one of the late principal’s three children from his first marriage, which ended in divorce in 1999.
‘The charges were inaccurate. [Marlena] has been very difficult in our family for about the last year, and we haven’t had any contact with her,’ the daughter told the dailymail.
‘I’d just now started regaining contact with him over the last two weeks, and it’s been really great. He’d been trying to figure out how to leave her.
‘In my opinion, it seems like this, in his mind, was his way out of his relationship.
‘She’s been abusive to our entire family for five years. That’s why we don’t have any contact with her any more,’ Brittany added, claiming Marlena’s story to cops was ‘riddled with lies’.
Brittany also shared texts Marlena sent her after they had an argument in April.
Principal had tried to break up with wife
‘You’re a horrible disgusting excuse for a daughter and sister. Go find your Dad, play the hero. But it’s me he will be missing I the morning,’ the mother-of-two wrote in an April 24 text.
She also claimed that Marlena keyed her car at Brittany’s apartment in Costa Mesa after the argument, in which her father ‘tried to break up’ with his wife.
Brittany filed a police report on the incident, alleging it caused $6,000 of damage.
‘It was unresolved because she didn’t admit to anything, but we had footage from her doorbell camera leaving the house in the middle of the night and then coming to my apartment (where my dad was staying for the night) and taking his car,’ she claimed.
‘So when we woke up, my dad’s car was gone (parked at Marlena’s house) and my car had been keyed on every panel.
‘Marlena has shown a consistent pattern of manipulation and inappropriate behavior towards my family for some time now.
Toxic abusive relationship
‘Although my dad mentions in his post that their relationship was ‘great’ up until two weeks ago, their relationship in actuality has been toxic and wearing on both of them,’ she said.
‘The night my car was keyed, my dad tried to break up with Marlena and I was sent messages from her saying I was ‘a horrible and disgusting excuse for a daughter and sister’.
‘To be honest, I never thought I did anything to her but she refused to ever apologize for her words or actions, even when she reacted extremely towards my family.
‘In my opinion, it was a slow chipping away at my dad’s soul for much longer than just two weeks and I wish at this stage she could have left my family alone.’
‘She’s done a lot, personally to my family recently, to myself, to my husband. So there’s a lot going on in this that is very complicated.’
The daughter added that she believed Marlena’s claims of domestic violence by Chris to police last month were ‘inaccurate’.
‘She put him in a really horrible position that night and painted a picture of him that is inaccurate of his character, and I think it got too much for him,’ Brittany said.
In a comment posted on Facebook after her husband’s death, Marlena said she was ‘living in a nightmare’ and that he was ‘the love of my life’ – but that the ‘full story’ had not been told.
‘None of you know the full story. I’m living in a nightmare and trying to grieve. Chris was the love of my life and I am crushed at what happened. I didn’t make him do this and it’s not my fault. I am not sick- I just know in my heart what’s true,’ she wrote.
Charges dropped to misdemeanor
The late principal’s oldest daughter said Chris and his second wife ‘loved each other’ but had a ‘passionate but toxic relationship’.
‘If you look at anyone who knows him, anyone who has been in his life, he’s not a violent man,’ she said.
Brittany claimed Chris’s charges were planned to be reduced to a misdemeanor disturbance of the peace.
Orange County Superior Court documents show his case was dismissed after his death on Monday.
On November 28 the judge had imposed a restraining order on him, ordering him to stay 100 yards away from Marlena, not harass her in any way, and turn in any guns he had to police.
Before his death, Christensen pled not guilty to the charges.
He was principal of Courreges Elementary School for 11 years and had just begun his first year as principal of Newland Elementary School in Huntington Beach.
Chris, known as ‘Mr. C’ to his students, also worked at Disneyland as a stage manager.
In a welcome message on Newland’s website posted earlier this year, he referred to Marlena as ‘my lovely fiancé’, and her two daughters as his ‘bonus children’.
Huntington school principal who jumped to his suicide death off Disneyland structure faced child & battery charges according to suicide note he posted on FB https://t.co/fvcqaXPAMV #Christopher Christensen #Marlena Christensen #suicide #Disneyland parking structure
— Scallywagandvagabond (@ScallywagNYC) December 5, 2022
History of false claims?
But in his ‘final FB post’ uploaded at 8:38pm on Saturday December 3, he revealed his secret marriage.
‘Most of you don’t know this but we privately married 3 ½ years ago. Marlena and I love and adore each other and our relationship has been amazing…up until recently.’
Brittany told the dailymail that she hoped her stepmother would cooperate with her side of the family in planning the late principal’s funeral.
‘Her temper always got the best of her and this time there’s no chance for apology or turning back,’ she said.
‘I believe she is in true grief now, as we all are, and the best condolence she can provide me and the rest of our family is cooperation through the funeral.’
Marlena’s ex-husband and father of their two girls – who asked not to be named – told the dailymail that she had no history of making false claims, and he was also not aware of any previous domestic violence allegations against Chris.
Marlena to date has declined the dailymail’s requests for comment.