A New York woman who came under fire this week for unsuccessfully suing her 12-year-old nephew after his overly enthusiastic hug left her with a broken wrist is now defending herself against her critics.

Jennifer Connell, 54, said she was forced to sue her nephew, who was 8 when the accident happened, because it was the only way to get her homeowners insurance policy to pay for the cost of her care.

Connell and her nephew, 12-year-old Sean Tarala, appeared on NBC’s “Today” show on Thursday to speak out after a wild week that thrust both of them — unwittingly — into the spotlight. “It was a complete shock to me,” Connell said. “It was amazing how I walked into court that morning and walked out all over social media.”

Connell said that according to her understanding of Connecticut law, an insurance company couldn’t be named in a suit so Tarala, whose enthusiastic hug accidentally left her with a broken wrist, had to become the defendant.

On Tuesday, a jury in Bridgeport, Conn., declined to award Connell a $127,000 judgment against the 12-year-old. The Internet, though, awarded Connell a nickname: She was widely derided online as the “Auntfromhell.”

On Thursday, Sean came to his aunt’s defense. “She would never do anything to hurt the family or myself and she loves us,” Sean said.


expecting: The Swedish royal court says Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia are expecting their first child in April next year. The couple got married in June. Carl Philip, 36, is third in line to the throne after his older sister Crown Princess Victoria and her daughter Princess Estelle. Sweden’s royal family has ceremonial duties but no political power.

memoir: Ai Weiwei, the Chinese artist, activist and dissident, is working on a memoir. The Penguin Random House division Crown said it would release the book in the spring of 2017. Currently untitled, Ai’s memoir will cover everything from his time living in the United States in the 1980s and ’90s to his numerous clashes with Chinese authorities, including his 81-day detention in 2011. Ai often uses his work to draw attention to injustices in China.


more lisbeth: Lisbeth Salander hasn’t solved her last crime just yet. David Lagercrantz, the author who inherited the Nordic series about the dragon-tattooed hacker heroine, said he’s got two more books planned. In a statement from publisher Nordstedts, Lagercrantz said he “just can’t resist” continuing the series after “The Girl in the Spider’s Web,” which has sold 80 million copies worldwide since its August launch and topped fiction bestseller lists in the U.S. and Europe. Said Lagercrantz: “It’s been so much fun to write and such a breathtaking adventure.” The original three books in the “Millennium” series, starting with “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” were written by Stieg Larsson, who died in 2004.

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