A NASA astronaut allegedly improperly accessed the bank account of her estranged spouse while on a mission at the International Space Station — leading to what may be the first criminal allegation from space.
Anne McClain acknowledged she had accessed her estranged spouse, former Air Force intelligence officer Summer Worden’s bank account while on a six-month mission in space preparing for NASA’s anticipated first all-female spacewalk, according to The New York Times.
Worden filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, accusing McClain of identity theft when she noticed that the astronaut had accessed her bank account, though there was no indication of spent or moved funds.
Worden’s parents filed a separate complaint with NASA’s Office of the Inspector General in which they accused McClain of a “highly calculated and manipulative campaign” trying to win custody of Worden’s son — whom the couple raised when they were together.
“There’s unequivocally no truth to these claims. We’ve been going through a painful, personal separation that’s now unfortunately in the media,” McClain said in a statement on Twitter Saturday. “I appreciate the outpouring of support and will reserve comment until after the investigation. I have total confidence in the IG process.”
There’s unequivocally no truth to these claims. We’ve been going through a painful, personal separation that’s now unfortunately in the media. I appreciate the outpouring of support and will reserve comment until after the investigation. I have total confidence in the IG process.— Anne McClain (@AstroAnnimal) August 24, 2019
According to the Times, Worden’s son was born a year before the couple met and she would not let McClain adopt the child, even after they wed in 2014. Then in 2018, Worden filed for divorce after McClain accused her of assault. Worden maintained that they never had a physical altercation, and the charges were dropped, Click 2 Houston reported.
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McClain’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment. However, he told the Times that she “strenuously denies that she did anything improper” and “is totally cooperating” with the investigation.
Hardin explained that McClain had accessed the account to make sure that there were sufficient funds in Worden’s account to pay bills and care for the child. He also claimed that Worden had not let McClain know to stop using the account.