Cathy Schottenstein Blog

About Cathy Schottenstein

My Grandma is a 94-Year-Old #MeToo Warrior

Beverley SchottensteinWhen activist Tarana Burke started the “Me Too” movement in 2006, her goal was to raise awareness of the full extent of sexual abuse, assault, and harassment in society. She wanted to tell survivors, “You are heard. You are understood. You are not alone.”

In 2017 after The New York Times published its exposé detailing sexual abuse allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein, many high-profile celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashley Judd, Jennifer Lawrence, and Uma Thurman came forward with their own harrowing tales of sexual harassment. Their courage—and the resulting widespread media coverage—helped make the “Me Too” movement a topic of conversation across America. The phrase #MeToo went viral and became synonymous with female empowerment. Over time, #MeToo developed into an even broader movement. While sexual abuse and harassment are the most prevalent grievous acts associated with the movement, at its heart, #MeToo is about women standing in solidarity, telling their truths, and refusing to be victimized. Read more

About Cathy Schottenstein

Institutional Malfeasance: Another Ugly Form of Elder Abuse

Institutional Malfeasance J.P. Morgan

My cousins Evan and Avi Schottenstein are not the Menendez brothers. They did not kill our nonagenarian grandmother. Yet, in misappropriating her fortune for years as they worked as her “financial advisors” at J.P. Morgan, and in using her advanced age against her in a shameful attempt to influence people into thinking she had dementia, they did kill something inside her: they killed her trust.

Not every case of elder abuse is financial—but far too many are, and the abuse rarely occurs in a vacuum. For my grandmother, her situation was a combination of psychological and financial abuse perpetrated by family members who were aided and abetted by the biggest bank in the world, J.P. Morgan. Read more

About Cathy Schottenstein

Making the Painful Decision to Testify Against My Cousins

Cathy and Beverley Schottenstein PattapPeople may believe, since I am writing a book about my grandma’s ordeal and her experience with elder abuse, that I jumped at the opportunity to support her during the actual trial. The truth is this: I wavered for weeks about getting involved in the process. Ultimately, reality and morality won over my personal reticence, and I agreed to take the stand on my grandma’s behalf and testified against the perpetrators, my two first cousins Evan and Avi. They had done our grandmother a terrible wrong. They had to be brought to justice, they had to make restitution, and they had to stop their intolerable harassment.

Although we had never been close, I am closely related to Evan and Avi. They are sons of my Uncle Bobby, my father’s younger brother. At best I have neutral memories of Evan and Avi growing up, but at many of the momentous occasions of my life—my Bat Mitzvah, my wedding, my first-born son’s bris—they were there. We share a lineage and a history, and no one wants to aid in ruining another person’s life. But they had crossed a dangerous line with heedless disregard to the consequences. Now they would have to face the music. Read more