1. Brian1 says

    1. The (presumably adopted) Asian children in the photo are probably a bit freaked out my their father’s Asian boyfriend.

    2. At a minimum he, not his abandoned family, needs to pay the insurance company back.

  2. Daniel Berry, NYC says

    He did what millions of men must have fantasized about doing. He was trapped and had whatever it took to try to break free. But it isn’t quite so simple, is it? He had the life he wanted for 16 years but evidently was never able to be at peace with it.

    My partner (who is Asian) has two children. When he moved out of their home after 9 years of marriage, the decision was hellish for him. But he stayed nearby, maintained his relationship with his kids and took care of his wife as well as he was able to do, though he often wanted to die. I was NOT in the picture at that time, but knew him at the time he was first married. After his first kid was born he cut me out of his life forever. He called me again a year and a half after leaving his wife, and now we’re together. Processing this has been very, very hard for him. But he and his kids adore one another and he continues to support his wife in every way he can. Institutionalized homophobia creates all kinds of hell in people’s lives that no one asks for or deserves.

  3. anon says

    What a tangled web we weave…

    I suspect he hated his life and everyone in it. The daughter is right to be angry.

  4. topherhoefer says

    This guy is just plain selfish. To leave your children like that is terrible. There are no excuses and no justifications to be made for abandoning your family.

    Lesson to be learned: coming out is hard, but suck it up and be a father first, the rest will figure itself out.

  5. wwolffus says

    Even if he had to leave his family the way he did, I would think that after he settled into his new open life, he could have, at a bare minimum, written a letter to his wife, ask for a divorce, and let everyone move on. No awkward meetings or enything. Everyone would have been better off.

  6. Ryan says

    I don’t care how trapped or miserable he was – there is NO EXCUSE for abandoning one’s children. NONE!!!!

    I have absolutely no sympathy for this man. As far as I’m concerned, he ought to be locked up and put in prison for severe child abuse, and he should pay his former spouse and kids child support payments plus interest, plus their legal fees and the life insurance fees, for every year he was missing — plus interest.

    This story absolutely disgusts me.

    Jesus. He could have just asked for a divorce. But, no, he abandons his children instead. Pathetic.

  7. Gigi says

    “many questioning his motivations and asking whether it’s ever acceptable to abandon one’s children…”

    Of course it’s never acceptable to abandon one’s children! I’m not condoning what Mr. Myers did but sometimes people make the wrong choices in life. When I came out to my parents, they disowned me. I didn’t have any contact with them for more than 20 years. They, like Myers, eventually came to regret their decision. It took a while but eventually I forgave them. Hopefully Myers’ family will come to forgive him one day as well.

  8. Tessie Tura says

    Mary, he was SO ghey in that picture. And he replaced his adopted Asian sons with an Asian boy toy of his own.

  9. JohnAGJ says

    As most people forced to live a life in the closet for years, I can sympathize for that pain he endured. Yet what he did by putting his family through that is just monstrous and inexcusable. He definitely should have to pay that life insurance money back by himself and I don’t blame the daughter for being upset. This guy is extremely selfish and a ver bad father for abandoning his kids like that. Then there’s the poor ex-wife… Ugh. I very much dislike this whole thing and am ticked off at him just reading about it!

  10. Chris says

    I am sorry, you don’t abandon your children. Period. I don’t care why, I don’t care what you are gong through, I don’t care if you feel trapped, you don’t abandon your children and allow them think you are dead.
    This is a despicable human being, gay or straight.

  11. Andy says

    Wow. What is wrong with this person? It would have been so much easier to divorce his wife over the phone, then move to Florida. He didn’t even have to explain why he was divorcing her.
    Instead he had his whole family worried sick about him. His wife is in debt because she has to pay back all this money to the insurance company.
    He is a lowlife. He should go to jail for this.

  12. MIke says

    What does “deeply religious” and “Christian” blah blah have to do with it?
    It is there to make the reader dislike his family?

    Lets say he was atheist. He was atheist then and atheist now and his entire family was. He still abandoned them. Piece of crap.

  13. Dback says

    Oy. This story is tragic in almost every way…to imagine the pain that that man must have been in, to walk away and “disappear” rather than committing suicde…but then to re-emerge and turn his family’s life upside down…

    I don’t see any “good” side to this story–just heartbreak all around. It does seem to be a good example of the tyranny of living in the closet, however, and the psychological ramifications thereof. (He may be one of the few who pulled this disappearing act, but I’ll be there are thousands if not millions of unhappy men and women trapped in “charade” marriages who escape into drink or other self-destructive behaviors to deal with their pain and their hollow, fake lives.)

  14. Hagatha says

    The sick part is that the gay community somehow excuses these jerks (Bob Bauman anyone?) and then allows them to move freely amongst us. There should not be a civil word to such a person, and decent people should not receive him.

  15. sundayboy says

    He’s a sociopath. That “I did something terrible but no one’s really 100% terrible” quote is text book. I feel so sorry for his daughter, her haunted face broke my heart.I hope she finds a measure of healing.

  16. Marshall says

    Why was money placed into trust for just for his daughters and not his sons?

    BTW, the guy is a jerk. He should have just divorced his wife and given his family peace of mind.

  17. Lars says

    I will never understand the personal hell he lived in as a closeted married man with a family. But he only made things worse. Running away from his wife and children is despicable. The family he abandoned is right to be angry at the pain he inflicted on them.

    But let’s not lose sight of the important thing here: it is only because of systematic and institutional homophobia that he was ever in that closet in the first place. And yet this is the kind of world Right-wingers would like us to return to. Secrets, lies, deception, betrayal and pain.

  18. JY says

    I keep seeing this pop up on the news, but this whole return happened almost 5 years ago. Why is it newsworthy now?

  19. Lars says

    @Mike the ‘deeply religious’ description is absolutely germane. It gives context to his internalized homophobia, and how he could end up so deeply in the closet.

  20. Ben says

    End “the closet.” Tear off the doors, rip off the roof, let in the light.

    Live your truth.

  21. says

    What does “deeply religious” and “Christian” blah blah have to do with it?
    It is there to make the reader dislike his family?

    Lets say he was atheist. He was atheist then and atheist now and his entire family was. He still abandoned them. Piece of crap.

    Posted by: MIke | Jul 26, 2013 2:03:25 PM

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that if he had come from an atheist family, he wouldn’t have felt forced to hide his true sexual orientation. He could have been himself.

    It’s because of closed minded conservative “Christians” that men hide their true natures, and attempt to conform to what they believe they have to be… to be a “good man, a good father, and a good Christian”.

    That isn’t an excuse for this man. He should have the proverbial book thrown at him. The insurance company should go after him for fraud… That being said, you kind of have to at least understand (not excuse or condone) the motivation.

  22. Mike Ryan says

    I have little empathy for this guy and watched an interview he gave not long ago. In that interview he came off as a selfish egotistical “I don’t give a **** about anybody but me…” He is a big discredit to the gay community and now playing on this “Whoa is me… I was secretly gay and didn’t know what I was doing…” attitude.

    How is partner could stay with him is beyond me. You could never trust a single word the guy says.

  23. says

    Selfish and egotistical is putting it mildly.

    He could have divorced his wife and kept in contact with his children as he constructed a new life for himself as a gay man. But he didn’t. His abandonment of his family is hateful and repellent and there’s no excuse for it whatsoever.

  24. BMF says

    What I was struck by were the “little” anti-gay pieces of the story. Did anyone notice how they used Madonna’s vogue to characterize the early 90’s. How were the nude pictures his partner took of him relevant? And scenes from the pride parade? ABC should really, really be ashamed. The story is sensational enough with that.

  25. Mike in the tundra says

    The closet is a horrible place and coming out can be awful, but what he did was totally messed up. He’s just a gutless wonder.

  26. Mike in the tundra says

    The closet is a horrible place and coming out can be awful, but what he did was totally messed up. He’s just a gutless wonder.

  27. Pete N SFO says

    Talk about bad PR for the Insurance Co… why would they try and recover from the family, which did actually suffer the loss, rather than suing the shiz out of the guy that defrauded them?

    This guy didn’t walk away from just his own wife & kids, but also his parents and everyone he knew… something is very wrong there, way beyond societal pressure regarding sexuality. And the spouse that looks like the adopted kids… yeesh, creepy.

    Judge not, lest ye be judged… but seriously, this guy makes that impossible.

  28. Icebloo says

    What a weak, cowardly pri*k ! Why would you put all your loved ones through that kind of trauma. Now he’s using his cowardly bad behavior to get famous.

    I hate people like him who give gays a bad name. I knew I was gay at 7 and I have never married a woman to hide – it’s not fair to do that to someone else. He needs to grow some balls ! He is selfish beyond belief.

  29. says

    I don’t like to judge people when I can never truly understand what it going on inside their head. However, I have to wonder how someone can look at themselves over the course of 16 YEARS and not be crushed by guilt of leaving behind small children.
    That said, the real story here is how destructive religion is to people when they are forced to go against their innate nature.

  30. The Milkman says

    What a horrible thing to do. I see comments here that claim that no one deserves a life of self-hatred etc… well you know what, his wife and kids didn’t deserve this either. Divorce is fine, but this horrible emotional violence against his wife and children is absolutely inexcusable.

  31. G says

    Honestly, his boyfriend looks like a grown up version of the Vietnamese son on the left…

  32. Robert M. says

    Unless you’ve walked in his shoes, don’t judge. As a gay man, I managed to wrench myself out of a presumed life before I was confronted with the untenable options this man faced. That said, I wouldn’t have handled the situation the way he did but I’m not him.

  33. Todd says

    What the hell was on this guys mind? All he has done in this entire scenario is think about himself right up to the return to the family. Why did he think a reunion would be uplifting and would help the family? If they were destroyed by his death before I am sure they’d rather be dead now. What a dumb$hit. With my luck he’ll hit me up on Grindr.

  34. Munro says

    Selfish beyond imagination. The adopted Asian sons and the Asian boyfriend make me take pause.

  35. Will says

    This was on 20/20 last week. Was interesting to watch but that man messed up his family and especially his daughter. He is very selfish and shouldn’t have done what he did.

  36. FakeOutrage says

    Nobody is saying it but there is obviously something disturbing and creepy about the adopted asian sons and now coming out as gay and the asian boyfriend. This is just what those against gays adopting are thinking too. Just sayin’

  37. Chitown Kev says

    Not even going there with the Asian BF.

    I’m sorry, there was just a better way to handle this situation to to have your family believe that you were dead for 16 years…what he did was simply heinous.

  38. Lymis says

    I agree with everyone who condemns what he did to his family as monstrous.

    On an only tangentially related note, I cringe at how often we will hear of him from now on as a reason why gay people shouldn’t marry or be parents, as though we’re all identical.

  39. iban4yesu says

    What is this with his spouse looking like his adopted son (s)?
    As an (East) Asian,i can bet ya they don’t look alike at all! did youse really need to add that” All Asians look alike” bs to this already rather sordid story?

  40. BreckRoy says

    The fact that his money went into trust and only for his biologocal daughters and not his adopted sons makes me cringe. Granted it appears to be the doing of his father and not him, but…wow. aAnd now the incredibly rich father is dying and son pops back up to care for him I. His dying years…I am almost sad I did deep er research on what happened. Instead of finding anything that helped explain things, I just know a lot more that makes me hate him…he could walk away from his kids, but not his potential inheritance, huh? Gross.

  41. Rafael says

    Playing dead is the ultimate hostility. Whatever Eric Myers identifies as, the man is a weirdo.

  42. Cyberman says

    his family needs to sue the hell out of him and he should go to jail for faking his own death.

  43. Zeta says

    The fact that he adopted some Asian boys………. then runs off to marry an Asian man and won’t have anything to do with his adopted kids…… yeah, there’s a HELL of a lot more to this story.

    At least he wasn’t a pedophile.

    That we know of.

    He just had a fetish (which is bad enough, applied to people).

  44. pshannan says

    The thing that stunned me most in reading this article was the phrase, “…with many asking whether it’s ever acceptable to abandon one’s children…” Really? That’s a question? Of course it’s never acceptable. I’m appalled that this is even a thought!

  45. gomez says

    you don’t abandon your children, i don’t care what the story is.

    the asian thing…hmm. if the kids and lover were caucasian, no one would say boo, so are asian lovers automatically considered a fetish? seems objectifying to see it that way, but still…

  46. Daniel says

    If he had been honest from the start, his kids would never have been born. The daughter should suck it and be grateful to be alive. Maybe she’s a moneygrubbing beotch angry about losing the $$$.

  47. Scrammy says

    Boo-f^cking-hoo. “Oooh, I can’t deal with my sexuality so I’m going to destroy everyone who has been close to me’s life.”

    There is absolutely nothing redeeming about this gobshite and for anyone to try to even remotely justify his actions is absurd. Thousands of gay men struggle with the same situation every day. Yes, I acknowledge that often it isn’t the easiest thing to come out to a family that is so routed in religion. However, the alternative (i.e. assuming the father/husband to dead) is much, much more devastating. If he had any compassion for those that loved him, he would have reconsidered his actions.

    Additionally, this is another case that exemplifies how toxic organised religion can be.

  48. kim says

    he not only abandoned his family, he allowed them to believe him dead — to go through the heartbreak of loss, the grief, the mourning. they couldn’t achieve closure, and so muddled on. his wife was suddenly burdened with having to raise their children alone. was her income sufficient? with four children, that’s hard to imagine. his daughter began drinking at 11 to drown her pain and, today, is an alcoholic. then, when they finally filed for his insurance, he pops back up and they’re left having to pay it all back, plus fines and penalties and interest. we’re not talking “dad of the year” material here.

  49. Niff says

    Whatever, he saw a fine piece of bootey, and went for it. His wife was obviously not doing it, duh. It had to be an asian with a white…the rich white mans slave. He’s just got that asian fever.

    I hope everyone can see his obvious white male privilege. He created a family, won respect and a good job, then left it for some ho, only to return for publicity. I wonder if his partner ever questioned his morality, oh wait, ching-chong-ling-long-ting-tong never had one.

  50. POB2013 says

    No excuse what so ever. What a selfish piece of sh*t!!!! He chose to lie to the world around him and should have had the balls to come clean! No sympathy from me.

  51. andrew says

    Of all the posts, I think JMC said it best: “This guy is a real piece of sh*t”.

  52. kdknyc says

    The reason this is surfacing now is because marriage equality is gaining steam, and anything to demonize “they gay” is fair game to use.

  53. gregorybrown says

    It’s disingenuous to make a blanket statement about how being in an Atheist family would have made for an easy growth into gay identity. Atheists can be as doctrinaire homophobes as religious people. True Believers of any kind just find different reasons for prejudices. Both religious and non-religious people can also be genuinely loving and respectful of others regardless of difference in race, ethnicity, sexual identity and more things that divide us all.

  54. Edward Schirm says

    I hope some of the Life Insurance money was spent on surgery, so the one daughter who was born without a face, could get that fixed. :)

  55. deke says

    Hey, I get a gay man trapped in a marriage that doesn’t work. That was me 20 years ago. I came out, divorced, and continued parenting my kids. You don’t just walk on them.

  56. says

    well, some gays are sociopaths. this lousy excuse for a father is no exception.

    “sorry about pretending to be dead for all those years, but don’t worry, i wasn’t too sad about it. hope you weren’t”


  57. Ninong says

    It was his choice to be a father! It was wrong for him to abandon his children! There is no valid excuse for that. None. Period!

  58. Rees Cramer says

    I don’t like what he did, it was a bad thing to do. But I was asked by a young friend recently about the 80’s and 90’s and I had to explain how it felt to be gay in middle America at the time. It was terrible, the language from church’s, schools and politicians was awful. Add to that fear of AIDS and the always pleasant Anita Bryant and it is easy to see why a man could hate everything that he feels inside and the life the he lives for the world and his family. I was lucky, I burned that closet down and never looked back. The life I have lived has not always been perfect but it has been amazing. I am glad I did not harm that really great girl that I wanted to marry, it would never have been fair to her or our families. I just couldn’t live a lie to please people who didn’t have to deal with the rest of my life. In the end it is your life, you have a responsibility to live it honestly, and you should be true to your soul. I said to my very angry father 20 years ago that one day he would be dead and I would have the rest of my life to go live. Why did I have to live a fake life for the next 25 years, ruin some great girls life and put children in a bad situation just so he was not embarrassed. The choice in the lives of Gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders is not what we are. It is if we can find the courage to live it. To walk in to the sun and claim our destiny. My mother did not raise me to be less than any other man or woman, to be diminished or take abuse, verbal or physical. She did not raise me to sit in the back of the bus or lurk around in alleys begging someone to pay attention to me. We need to make sure the next generation learns our history and understand the legacy they inherit and the responsibility to pass it on.

  59. Rafa in Toronto says

    Rees Cramer (very first comment): thanks for your lucid, compassionate wisdom. Beautifully written.

  60. SteveDenver says

    What a bastard! We talk all the time about parents throwing away their gay and lesbian children, this is a gay man who threw away his entire family.

    How did he go to Cabo and back without revealing his identity? Did he have a fake passport? What money did he use to establish his new life?

    The unanswered questions add up to him possibly being a heavy duty creep.

    HE should have to pay back the insurance company, his family didn’t knowingly commit fraud, he did.

    Sometimes gays do things I am so ashamed of that I wish they weren’t gay. I want to kick his ass on behalf of his deeply hurt wife and children.