While Jens Söring was still waiting to be deported to Germany in late 2019, he gave a 38-minute interview to local public-radio station WVTF. As always, it’s filled with sarcasm, falsehoods, and indiscreet revelations. Put a mic in front of Jens Söring, and he invariably digs himself deeper.
One of those indiscreet revelations concerns Söring’s remaining family members, his father and brother, who are still alive and living in Germany. I won’t name them because they’ve been through far more than enough already.
In interviews Söring has given in Germany since landing here in December 2019, he invariably recites the same rehearsed soundbite: (1) he “deeply regrets” that he no longer has contact with his family; (2) they supported him “admirably” (vorbildlich) for many years; (3) his actions have inflicted “terrible harm” on them; (4) he wishes the rupture with his family could be healed; and (5) he does not wish to discuss the dispute (Zerwürfnis) which led to the 2001 rupture with his family. This soundbite appears in nearly-identical form in many interviews, such as this one (g) or this one (g).
But is anything about this account true? Has Söring always been this discreet and wistful about his relationships with his family?
Judge for yourself from this excerpt from Söring’s WTVF interview with journalist Sandra Hausman, given shortly before his deportation in December 2019:
“Hausman: Do you have any relatives left in Germany?
Söring: I have a father and a brother with whom I do not want any contact, because they broke off contact with me in 2001. I inherited money from my maternal grandmother, and I entrusted that money to my father, and then the two of them decided that it was theirs now, and they cut me off. I was stupid enough to trust my own father, and that was the second time in my life that I trusted the wrong person. The first time was Elizabeth Haysom, and the second time was my father and brother. And, uh, since 2001 I’ve made 3 attempts to reach out to them, and all three were rebuffed, and I have no desire to have any contact with those people unless they bring me the money back. They’ve had use of half-a-million dollars of mine — that’s what I inherited — for 18 years now.”
This attack on his own family was also a rehearsed soundbite — Söring used the same line about “trusting the wrong people — first Elizabeth and then my own family” on the Amanda Knox podcast. He had evidently rehearsed this calculated insult over the years since 2001.
As I’ve pointed out before, Söring’s family made enormous sacrifices for him. Despite suffering permanent harm to their family name, Söring’s family members financed his legal defense for years, paying large sums to lawyers and psychiatrists. Söring’s father also made personal sacrifices, accepting “hardship postings” to Mauritania and Papua New Guinea to earn additional pay to finance his son’s defense. Even if the situation is as Söring described it — which of course cannot be assumed, since Söring is an inveterate liar — I would hardly blame the family for compensating themselves after 15 years of financial and personal sacrifice on Söring’s behalf. Would you?
Yet this is how Söring repaid them. At least until he landed in Germany, when he decided to stop attacking his own family — perhaps because his PR consultants told him it’s a bad look — and instead adopt the role of misunderstood, sorrowful prodigal son.