''Really, all I have to say is, I'm absolutely devastated about the loss of my husband -- fallen firefighter Capt. Thomas Araguz, III -- and horrified at the horrendous allegations ... accusing me of fraud, because they are absolutely not true.''
A tearful Nikki Araguz, the transgender woman who is now fighting in Texas court for the right to the assets of her late husband. He was a firefighter who died at the scene of a fire on July 4. (via YouTube)
Araguz, as her birth certificate states, was born male, but she had apparently transitioned to female some years ago. According to Texas' laws, though, transgender people are deemed to remain the same gender as their original birth cerficate despite gender reassignment procedures. It is illegal for same-sex couples from being legally married.
In addition to all that, it is reported that Nikki's husband had recently separated from her because he had been told by a third party that his wife had been born male. Now, the family and the state of Texas are trying to keep Nikki Araguz from claiming the estate of her late husband. The estate would include the firefighter's survivor benefits. His family claims that she has not only a criminal history but a history of having "deceived" other men.
''I completely respect the results that were obtained today. And I look forward to the future outcome of this case. And all of these alleged allegations and untruths to come out in my favor. My husband and I loved each other very much. And when all evidence is presented, the whole world will know that I am Mrs. Captain Thomas Araguz, III -- now a widow. And I am deeply grieving the loss of my husband....''
''Let me tell you right now that I made a vow to my husband, while he was alive, that should anything happen to him -- that I promised him I would make sure that our children -- because I do consider them our children -- that I would help take care of them whenever they needed anything....''
''That's a lie. He knew from the time I met him, in 2007.... My husband, Thomas Araguz, III -- I have been completely honest with him about my entire history -- legally, financially, physically, mentally, medically -- in every way 100% honest. And I have evidence to prove such facts.''
Nikki Araguz at a somewhat ugly press conference this past Friday regarding her court case to defend her claim to the assets of her late husband against his mother, Simona Rodriguez Longoria. Questions were asked if Araguz had been in previous relationships for monetary gain, and if her husband did not know she had been born male. She seems to be indicating here that he knew all along, which is the main question that many media sources and watchers of this case have raised this past week. (via YouTube)
The TG Center says that the assets of the late Capt. Araguz have now been frozen. That prevents both Araguz and Longoria from claiming or spending any of his benefits, assets, or life insurance payout. His two children are allegedly going to get half of $600,000 via the fire department. (TGCtr.org)