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Sian Cullen and her daughter Aine. Cullen was a teenager in Dublin, Ireland when Aine was born. They now live in Seattle.The Seattle Story Project: First-person reflections published at These are essays, stories told on stage, photos and zines.To submit a story – or note one you've seen that deserves more notice – contact Isolde Raftery at or 206.616.2035.

What Courtney Weaver told her ex-fiancé in court – and his response

Blues singer Courtney Weaver performs in the KUOW studios.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

On Jan. 15, 2010, a woman named Courtney Weaver was intentionally shot in the face by her fiancé, Kenneth Fiaui.

In court nearly a year later, Weaver spoke to Fiaui directly. What follows is what she said, based on the court transcript, and his response.

Twenty-ten has been the most trying and difficult year of my life.

My strength, my body and soul have faced the most intensive hardships, and throughout it all, through the despair, the anger, the sadness and loneliness, I have pulled through and come out more of a person than I was before. I know now who I am more than ever, and my purpose in my life and intention through my music, writing and interacting with others, I have found my voice and exposed my soul.

Through that, I have had to deal with unbearable physical and emotional pain due to the trauma, along with the most ultimate betrayal by someone I loved and trusted. I had to undergo 30 hours of surgery and countless hours of physical pain I couldn’t fathom was possible.

Main story: Her fiance shot her in the face, but she still has a voice

I have had to move four times this year, and had to build my life piece by piece, along with not being able to work, due to physical and emotional trauma. I am also working with a psychotherapist and psychiatrist to work with my post-traumatic stress disorder.

I still have more surgery regarding the facial and dental trauma, including a removal of a bullet lodge in my neck in two weeks, along with my living and medical costs I have had to pay out of pocket with no source of income.

I do understand the value of forgiveness and understand situations like this are never black and white. I know that within myself I have had to forgive myself, most of all, in order for me to find peace within and move on from this situation.

I will never understand why this happened or for what reason, but I understand now that I can never rationalize in a rational situation. My family has shown me an immense outpouring of support and patience. Luckily, I have music to transcend the space and transcend to creativity.

My life is just beginning. The experience of violence will not break who I am. This is the most horrible way to break up with someone.

Something that was so sacred and private is now – and has been for the past year – in the public eye. Anyone who wants to have an opinion does, and I have found ways to protect myself from negativity, and you should understand that.

And to be left for dead, and have to go through all of our positions and try to figure out what happened – I know I did nothing to deserve this. No one does.

My life is too valuable to endanger myself again. I cannot waste my time wondering why this happened. I have already spent countless hours on this over and over again, and blame myself, beaten myself up and tried to avoid the pain by any means necessary.

I have had an extremely trying year, but I realize I am meant to be here to tell my story and express myself. When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.

The judge then asked Fiaui if he wanted to speak. This was his statement:

I would just like to let the court know, I am very grateful for Courtney and her family’s kindness that they have shown my family in coming to this town. In the words of my own mother, Courtney is a strong soul. I feel the same way. She’s been through a lot in life.

And even today, now, she’s – um, I’m sorry. I can’t rightfully explain to you what happened on Jan. 15. A few days before, I am in love. I have the most spectacular gypsy queen that said “yes” to me. The only thing I have is, I don’t know, the anxiety of the recent losses of my life, and the idea that perhaps I am going to try to rebuild something else with the love of people, and Jan. 15 happened.

The only thing I can describe is every single fear in my life returning at once, probably at the same point where Courtney described in her testimony, there was a shift. And I have been running through the same things over and over in my head, this unfathomable, physical, emotional pain that I have caused to someone I love and care for deeply.

Not only that, but it extends beyond us. I’ve hurt her grandfather, her aunties, her uncles, her cousins, her parents and her siblings. Friends, all of who, at some point had invited me to their home and had meals with me, and were very kind to me. And the community – she’s involved with music – and most of the Humboldt community that she is involved with. I am so sorry for the pain that I have caused.

I ask for her forgiveness within myself, and in turn, I ask forgiveness. As this court knows today, it all happens from within, and I don’t want people who hold that anger and hate in their heart toward me for what happened, though it’s rightfully so for the horrific, horrific tragedy.

But I pray that they have peace and love in their hearts, eventually. And I hope over the time that I have been given to serve, will assist with their forgiveness and their being able to move on with their lives. Like I said, they could fill their hearts and their minds with love and with peace.

Yeah, that would be the conclusion of my statement. Thank you for your time, your honor.