Paul Anka’s beauty queen ex-wife is appealing a recent court ruling that completely bars her access to the couple’s young son without the legendary singer’s approval.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily News, Anna Anka called the ruling “unconstitutional” and claimed she’s the victim of extreme “parental alienation” at the hands of her multimillionaire ex-husband.
“It’s horrific,” the Swedish model, 46, told The News.
“There’s no justice as to why I don’t get to see my son,” she said. “It’s a pretty sad thing.”
It was late June when a judge in Ventura County, Calif., issued the controversial ruling that gave Paul sole physical and legal custody of 11-year-old Ethan with no mandate for guaranteed visitation or family therapy.
The judge said Ethan had become so deeply estranged from his mom over two years living with his dad that a reunification workshop called Family Bridges suggested by Anna’s side was “doomed to failure.”
He said Ethan had developed “an intense dislike of his mother,” and any program involving “substantial” contact had “the potential for being a disaster.”
Judge Henry Walsh issued his custody order saying visitation would only take place “by agreement between petitioner and respondent.”
“The judge basically said, ‘I’m just going to let Paul Anka decide,’” Anna told The News. “That’s unconstitutional. I have a right. Even if I was a murderer, I should still get to see my kid with supervised visitation.”
The actress who had a bit part in 1994’s “Dumb and Dumber” filed her notice of appeal on Aug. 24.
So far, she’s acting as her own attorney and is considering a crowd funding campaign to cover her costs.
She believes Anka — who gained massive fame in the 50s and 60s with hits including “Lonely Boy” and “Put Your Head on My Shoulder” — poisoned her son against her and got the family court to turn a blind eye due to his celebrity.
She admitted she previously lost custody of her now 14-year-old daughter from a different marriage after she was “almost arrested” on Mother’s Day 2014 based on a “false allegation” she burned the child in her steam shower.
“I was never found guilty of it,” she told The News.
Anka said just seven days after the January 2015 decision involving her daughter, she got a letter from her ex’s lawyer saying he wanted nearly full custody of their son — or he would also take her to court.
Despite their prior 50-50 arrangement, Paul offered her one weekend of custody per month and two weeks during the summer, the letter, obtained by The News, said.
“The false allegations started pouring in one after the other. The court never found me guilty of any of them, and still I lost custody of my son,”Anna said.
In court orders obtained by The News, the Ventura judge overseeing the Anka battle called it “an extremely difficult case.”
He said Anna initially lost physical custody of her son in February 2015 based on the recommendation of a mediator. After that, attempts at family therapy sessions ended badly, the judge said.
“From listening to the testimony, it is obvious to the court that neither Paul nor Anna were without fault as a parent. That puts them in company with almost 100% of all parents,” Judge Henry Walsh wrote in March.
Still, he said the “faults did not rise to the level of requiring that either of them be permanently denied access to Ethan.”
“There is no credible evidence of physical abuse of Ethan by either Paul or Anna,” he wrote.
He said a court-appointed expert brought in to vet Paul’s claims that Anna was “mentally ill” found her to be a “harsh” but not “abusive” parent.
“The elephant in the living room is parent alienation,” he stated plainly.
At the time, Anna asked that she be allowed to enroll herself and Ethan in an “intensive” four-day unification therapy program at a facility in Beacon, NY.
“In the court’s judgment, the two years of no contact at all with Anna makes this too drastic a remedy,” the judge ruled in March, ordering the parents to return to their local family reunification therapist instead.
The March attempt also failed, the judge later confirmed.
“A court order at this time requiring that (Ethan) spend time with his mother, who he presently despises, risks trying to put a round peg into a square hole,” he wrote April 5.
“At some point, Ethan’s stated preference to live with his father may be in his best interest, however objectionable that is to (Anna),” he said.
The judge then issued his ruling in favor of the 76-year-old singer in June.
Attempts to reach Anka’s lawyer were not immediately successful late Wednesday.
“I understand that this sounds crazy, like a bad movie, but it is the reality,” Anna told The News.
She said the court essentially terminated her parental rights when it “delegated” the duty of making visitation orders to her estranged ex-husband.
“That is illegal and the reason for my appeal,” she said.