Diane Stretton: Nightmare Nanny Leaving? Maybe.By: Mike Tuttle - June 30, 2014
Some people want to be famous. They’ll grab at any opportunity that drops out of the sky to get on the news, become the latest viral thing on YouTube, and have their 15 minutes of fame. But most people don’t need the hassle. It might be funny now to be the “hide yo kids, hide yo wife” guy, but eventually most people want to get on with their lives and not be seen as a freakshow.
Poor Ralph and Marcella Bracamonte are now being run through that wringer, thanks to a slow news week and a nanny who sounds like something off a reality TV show.
The Bracamontes hired one Diane Stretton, age 64, as a live-in nanny to watch their three kids. The deal was that she got free room and board in their home in exchange for taking care of the kids.
Stretton later told the family that she suffered from a lung disease and needed to scale back her work. Then, one day, Stretton just stopped working entirely. She would not come out of her room, except to get food.
The Bracamontes talked to her numerous times, but nothing helped. They gave her notice that they would fire her if she did not get back into her duties. Still, nothing changed. Finally, they fired her. But Diane Stretton refused to leave their home.
The Bracamontes called the police, but the authorities told them that this was a civil matter. The news of the conflict went viral. Reporters have camped out. The Bracamontes cut of Stretton’s cable TV, her Internet, and even padlocked their refrigerator. Finally, they served her with eviction papers.
Then Diane Stretton countered the family’s response with one of her own. She threatened to sue them for breach of contract, elder abuse, and false imprisonment. Then, suddenly, Diane Stretton disappeared, but left her things in the home. She was later spotted hiding in a car outside a police station.
The Bracamontes have now learned a lot more about Diane Stretton. For example, she has been involved in several legal disputes, so many in fact that her name is on a Vexatious Litigant List in California.
Finally, the Bracamontes have gotten assurances from Stretton that she will leave with her things on July 4. The trouble now is that the family was scheduled to leave for vacation on July 2. Now their vacation plans have been upended, and they are still not sure what is going to happen in the end.
In an interview, the parents say they did call Stretton’s references when they found her via Craigslist.
“I’m a mom,” said Marcella Bracamonte. “My family is the most important thing, so of course I did. I called references. I didn’t do a credit check, because I wasn’t accepting money from her. I just didn’t think it was necessary. I was too trusting.”
Image via YouTube