The team behind the popular convention MommyCon posted a statement on Facebook acknowledging that the "legally separated husband" of the company's founder had been charged with possession of child pornography in Illinois.
MommyCon, founded by Alexzandra "Xza" Higgins, is a convention that connects thousands of moms with family-friendly vendors across the country.
According to Lake County court records, her husband, Kevin Higgins, was charged with three counts of possession of child pornography on a computer earlier this month.
MommyCon posted then deleted the following statement about the charges on Facebook:
"On November 5, 2019 Alexzandra "Xza" Higgins, was notified by the Highland Park Police Department that Kevin Higgins, her legally separated husband, was the subject of a criminal investigation. Based on the information provided to her on November 5, there was no indication that the alleged criminal conduct involved MommyCon or any of our attendees, families or sponsors.
Kevin Higgins is not involved in the day to day operations of MommyCon or our affiliated events, and has not been present at an event since April 2018. MommyCon stands to fully cooperate with law enforcement with respect to this matter, but because the current information indicates no involvement of MommyCon or it's attendees, we have no involvement in the criminal investigation. We understand that this news is concerning. Please know the safety and security of our attendees, staff, and sponsors are and will always be our top priority.
Our thoughts are with Xza as she takes time to care for her children during this difficult time. Our team will continue to work diligently to continue to deliver the quality experiences our partners, fans, and community have come to expect."
Followers of the company's Facebook page replied to the post saying they are shocked and concerned about the allegations.
Companies, like Arctic Baby Bottoms and Kinderpack, have pulled out of the MommyCon event in San Diego this weekend.
Here is the statement from Arctic Baby Bottoms:
“Here at Arctic Baby Bottoms, we take the safety of children and our commitment to our brand relationships extremely seriously. Not only to we hold ourselves to the highest standard, but we also require the same of those we work with and the brands we represent.
The situation at MommyCon is a horrific example of the need for us to continually vet those we work with, at any level, as well as the need to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.
We stand with the victims. We will not let them be silenced.”
MommyCon is scheduled to take place at the JW Marriot by The Galleria in Houston on Aug. 1.
MommyCon founder Xza Higgins released the following statement about the allegations Tuesday:
"Many of us have scars that we keep in our private lives. Things we certainly don’t want to share with strangers, things we try not to even remember because of the pain they bring it to mind. I have these hurts too. As a young teenager I made the foolish mistake of becoming involved with a man in his 30s. Preying on my naivety, he quickly took control of every aspect of my life. My parents, were unaware and did not see it or lacked an appreciation of what was happening to me. With lies about my age and how we met, he made me a part of his life out in the open, dating me in front of his friends and family, initiating a sexual relationship with me when I was only 14, moving me out of my parent’s home and eventually marrying me when I turned 18. This was not a marriage that I entered into joyously and it served only to further empower this man over me, to subjugate me, and to strand me in a world that he dictated.
These events, which I would wish on no one, have determined much of the course of my life to date. Fortunately, through therapy, I found the personal power to finally separate from him. I have been in divorce proceedings with Kevin Higgins since 2018.
I have endeavored to protect myself and my children by keeping the true facts about their father's relationship to me private. As I will explain to you in this letter, nothing good can come of publicizing this sad history and there are important reasons for protecting my children from it. Unfortunately, the public concern and fear that has naturally followed the child pornography charges filed against Kevin two weeks ago by Lake County law enforcement officials necessitate that I share my family's intimate facts with those who, understandably, want the assurance that their own children are safe.
Although I have not seen the charges, my understanding from the police is that the 3 images in question are of me when I was 15 years old, which was 14 years ago.
I cannot defend Kevin’s actions in taking these pictures of me, in keeping them, or in any of the aspects of the abusive relationship he had with me. All I can say is that in almost 15 years I have seen no evidence that he has preyed on anyone other than me, in the context of the intimate relationship that he formed with me.
I hope that this information will help address the concerns of those that have been expressed for their own children who have attended MommyCon and affiliated events. The only purpose of MommyCon and our affiliated events is to help parents support their children's healthy growth. In fact, many of my own painful experiences left me susceptible as a young teen, the isolation I felt as a young mother trapped in a world controlled by an abusive spouse, and my abiding drive to create for my own children as whole a family as I can, have fueled me to create the mission of my company to help families and children grow stronger in the face of their own inevitable personal challenges, whatever they may be.
It's also important to me to set some facts straight:
Up until November 5, 2019 Kevin and I shared joint custody of our two children. I have assumed the role of primary parent since then.
On November 5, 2019, I was informed of Kevin’s arrest.
I was not aware he had been placed on administrative leave until his arrest. I do not know how he posted bail or who, if anyone, helped him in doing so. Beyond the details available on the Lake County Circuit Court website, I know nothing about any of the details pertaining to his bail.
If you need additional support due to the sensitive and potentially triggering nature of this topic or how to navigate it as a parent, some resources that I have personally used are RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) 800-656-4673 or the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453."
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