Sobering photographs of her bruised forehead and neck, new text messages of a tempestuous affair and a police report of a volatile marriage all emerged this week, adding new layers of recklessness and despair to the public fall of Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer.
In her first descriptions of the night that made her private troubles public, Lockyer told this newspaper this week through a series of emails that she was "violently assaulted" at a Newark hotel by her ex-lover, Stephen Chikhani, who sent text messages trying to woo her back.
"I'll have the room warm candles lit and I'll get a bottle of wine rite now," read one of the messages that Lockyer said came from Chikhani. "For some reason I have not given up hope."
But the fiery relationship between the 40-year-old wife of state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, 70, and the 35-year-old San Jose man with a methamphetamine addiction sent her back to rehab, where she had reportedly met Chikhani in 2010. She now says she is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
"I couldn't talk about it before and still have difficulty now," Nadia Lockyer wrote in an email.
The new details also shed light on events last summer: In June, she failed to show up for a supervisors meeting the same day she was visiting Chikhani in jail. One night in August, police were called to the Lockyers' home in the Hayward hills for a family disturbance; police reports list Bill Lockyer as a "suspect" and Nadia Lockyer as "victim." Days earlier, she had visited Chikhani in jail; days later, she picked him up when he was released.
An officer who arrived shortly after midnight on Aug. 17 at the Lockyers' home "made contact with Bill Lockyer," the report says. But police redacted the next 11 lines of the report before providing it to this newspaper. "After talking with both Bill and Nadia, they both agreed to stay in separate areas of the house for the night and to talk things over in the morning," the report concludes. The case was cleared.
Bill Lockyer "did not at the time know that Nadia was in a relationship with Chikhani, he also didn't know that she had visited him in jail," the treasurer's spokesman Tom Dresslar said Friday. "They had an argument that night, and there was absolutely no physical contact involved."
The photos, obtained by this newspaper, eerily evoke the images of another Bay Area politician's wife, Eliana Lopez, whose bruised bicep led to her husband San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi pleading guilty to false imprisonment after a New Year's Eve fight in their Victorian home.
In the Nadia Lockyer photos, she turns her head to show a bruised neck; in another she pulls back her hair to expose a bruised forehead.
"These are indeed photos of the injuries I sustained in the attack by Mr. Chikhani on Feb 3," she wrote in an email to this newspaper. On Friday, she said the photos "were taken at home Sunday Feb 5th after the assault, some by me, some by my husband."
Chikhani has not been charged with any crime in connection with this case. And his San Jose lawyer, Adrienne Dell, said Friday: "I don't know how she incurred the injuries. I maintain my client did not assault her, but I'm sure there's an explanation for her injuries."
The state Justice Department is still investigating the case, a spokeswoman said Friday.
Unlike Mirkarimi's prosecution, which happened fast, in the Lockyer case almost two months have elapsed without charges. But Peter Keane, dean emeritus at Golden Gate University Law School and a former San Francisco chief assistant public defender and police commissioner, noted these are two very different cases.
Mirkarimi's was a classic case of domestic abuse between a married couple, Keane said, while in Nadia Lockyer's case, "there is still a fair degree of mystery that hangs over it" as only sporadic details of her relationship with Chikhani emerge.
"The whole relationship is a very weird, strange matter," Keane said. "The longer it goes on that she doesn't really lay out what happened between her and this guy and what the nature of the relationship is, the more it makes people speculate and go to even more strange explanations for what it might be."
Lockyer returned to work as a county supervisor last week, more than a month after she'd issued a statement confirming a report of the attack and announcing she was enrolling herself in "a wellness and recovery center" -- not only to recover from injuries suffered in the purported attack, but also to receive "treatment for chemical dependency." But she has ignored repeated questions since then about what substances she was addicted to.
In emotionally charged emails to this newspaper Friday, Lockyer claimed Chikhani had acted violently toward her before. Once, she said, he damaged her car in a rage as she attempted to leave his San Jose apartment; on another occasion he "violently pushed me in the chest so hard I fell to the floor out of breath."
Angry that she'd dialed 911 after the latter incident, Chikhani warned her about a man he knows who "raped and murdered people," she said. "It is this fear that I carried with me for months as I tried to break away from Steve, his friends, and constant threats."
Lockyer declined to specify when these other alleged incidents occurred, and Chikhani's lawyer declined to comment on her claims.
Lockyer had visited Chikhani repeatedly in Santa Clara County's Elmwood jail while he was behind bars for violating his probation on a 2010 methamphetamine conviction.
She was absent from the Board of Supervisors' meeting June 22, one of the last meetings on the county's $2.5 billion budget. An Elmwood jail log obtained by this newspaper shows she checked in to visit Chikhani later that day, from 4:25 p.m. to 7 p.m.
She has refused repeated requests to explain her absence from the meeting that day, or to explain why she signed into the jail with the designation "solo/pd." She said last week that she was visiting at Chikhani's father's behest to offer Chikhani pro bono advice -- a claim Dell calls false.
By signing in as an attorney on that and at least two other occasions, Lockyer was allowed to stay longer than unofficial visitors and have unsupervised "contact" visits, meaning there was no partition between her and Chikhani.
Santa Clara deputy county counsel Cheryl Stevens said visitors granted those privileges should only be "the inmate's attorney of record." Lockyer acknowledged last week she was not Chikhani's attorney of record.
Staff writer Chris De Benedetti contributed to this report. Contact Josh Richman at firstname.lastname@example.org.