Frank Sinatra Jr, who passed away on March 16, was at one point married to his lawyer who prior to working for the Sinatra family, defended a former Yugoslavian war criminal.
The son of one of the most famous entertainers of all time married only once, to Texas attorney Cynthia McMurrey. They wed in 1998 but divorced two years later.
Despite the separation, Cynthia remained as an attorney for Frank Jr. as the two stayed close. She was formerly an actress, has run for congress in her home state and that’s just part of the story.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. She Once Defended a Man Who Was Found Guilty of Forcing 2 Brothers to Perform Oral Sex on Each Other
According to her LinkedIn page, Cynthia was an “International war crimes advocate and lead counsel in multiple trials assigned by the United Nations to defend persons accused of crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, from the first appearance of the defendant through the completed appellate process.”
Specifically, she defended prison guard, Esad Landzo. In 1998, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for rape and murder while he served as a prison guard at Celebici prison camp in Bosnia.
The Wall Street Journal referred to Landzo’s crimes as “beating to death a 60-year-old prisoner and nailing a metal badge to another prisoner’s forehead” as well as tying “a lit fuse around one prisoner’s genitalia and forced another to perform oral sex on his own brother.”
Bloomberg reports that part of her plan to make him seem less intimidating was “[persuading] Landzo to stop shaving his head. Sinatra brought him new clothes from a Beverly Hills boutique.”
The network also says that the the judge in the trial, Adulphus G. Karibi-Whyte, insisted that she refer to herself as “Sinatra” and not “McMurrey.”
The newspaper says that Cynthia dropped her law practice in Houston to travel to the Hague to participate in the trial after reading about how defendants need volunteer attorneys. Frank Jr. would sometimes travel with her to the Hague, because, as the Journal notes, since his kidnapping in the 1960s, he had a “keen interest in criminal law.”
2. Frank Jr.’s Nickname for Her Was ‘The Weapons’
CBS News reports that Cynthia’s marriage to Frank Jr. was her third. She is a native of Wharton, Texas, which is where their wedding took place on her father’s farm October 18, 1998, five months after Frank Sinatra died.
Though in reality, they had married at the county courthouse a few days earlier, according to a feature in Texas Monthly. They were divorced on January 7, 2000. The town is located about 55 miles southwest of Houston. After the marriage, the couple lived in Beverly Hills together.
Frank Jr’s sister, Nancy, couldn’t make the wedding due to increment weather.
Cynthia told the Wall Street Journal that she met Frank Jr. while he sang in Las Vegas in 1992. His loving nickname for her was “The Weapons.” She told Texas Monthly in December 1998 that, “My mom and I had just gone to see Harry Connick, Jr., and then we went to see Frank perform. I was sitting down front, and the whole time, he kept looking at my hands—at the fact that I wasn’t wearing a ring.”
The Journal says that he was very encouraging of her wanting to go to the Hague for the war crimes trial.
3. Despite Being a Republican, She Had an Affair With a Liberal Democratic Congressman in the 1980s
He realized that Cynthia had a child a few months after their affair ended. After performing a DNA test with Sinatra’s daughter, Victoria Brink, he realized he wasn’t her father. Though he later told CNN that Sinatra told him he was Victoria’s father.
In 2006, Cynthia challenged former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul for his Texas congress seat. She failed. Though, the Houston Press reported that she was still referring as Frank Jr. as her husband in campaign materials. Despite their divorce, he campaigned for her and the couple remained close.
One of her children, Jessica Lauren, is also a lawyer who works for her mother at Sinatra law. The Wall Street Journal reports that she has three children, having been married twice. She had her youngest daughter while she was studying for her law degree at night in 1990.
According to his obituary, Cynthia’s father, Clinton White, was a friend of former president George H.W. Bush.
4. Cynthia Once Appeared in a Schlitz Beer Commercial
The Wall Street Journal reported in 1999 that Cynthia was a “onetime actress.” She describes being in “two forgettable films” and a “Schlitz beer commercial.” After abandoning acting, Cynthia opened an antique store in Texas.
Cynthia studied law at the University of Texas and the South Texas College of Law. She is a member of the American Bar Association. On her LinkedIn page, Cynthia refers to herself as “Private personal legal advisor to Frank W. Sinatra in issues related to international and intra-state contracts and copyright issues.” That page also says that she served as a “private consultant” for Frank Sinatra Enterprises, the record label controls all of Old Blue Eyes’ recordings.
5. Frank Sinatra Jr. Is Survived by His 1 Son
The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that Frank Jr. fell ill in their city on the night of March 16. He had begun to feel better after being admitted to a medical center but passed away after suffering a heart attack. TMZ reports that he had been due to perform in Daytona.
Frank Jr. is survived by one son, Michael Sinatra, 29 who also works as a singer in Los Angeles as well as studying at graduate school. Michael is Frank Jr’s son from a previous relationship. He tweeted on the night of March 16 that his father died, “He was a man who was loved so much despite being so flawed – and that was always a great inspiration for me.”