NEW YORK (CBS) One day after the publication of an interview with Josh Powell, the husband of missing Utah mother Susan Powell, in which he claimed that his wife was "mentally unstable," Susan Powell's family is fighting back.
On ABC's "Good Morning America" Chuck Cox called the allegations that his daughter was mentally unstable and possibly cheating on Josh Powell "blatantly untrue." He also suggested that the "self-serving statement" was intended to shift the focus of the investigation off Josh Powell and onto Susan Powell and her family
Josh Powell also railed against what he called the "hate wagon" in The Salt Lake City Tribune interview published Monday, saying there has been a smear campaign against him orchestrated by the Coxes and his estranged sister, Jennifer Graves.
Graves told the morning show that her brother's claims that Susan was "mentally unstable" were ironic, because it isn't the Cox family that has a history of mental illness.
"In the Powell family, my family, we're the ones with the mental illness, documented," Graves told ABC, noting that she and Joshua Powell's brother had both been diagnosed with schizophrenia. "I never saw Susan display symptoms."
As for the allegations made by her father, Steve Powell, that Susan Powell was "sexually motivated" and probably ran off with a boyfriend, Graves says she would have known if her close friend had a boyfriend.
"They've basically accused Susan of being a slut, and it's offensive to me," Graves told the Tribune. "She was not. She was frustrated with her marriage."
Cox told the morning show that although Susan Powell's family continues to hold out hope that the 28-year-old mother of two young sons will be found alive, friends and family have also been preparing themselves for the day that Susan Powell's body might be found.COMPLETE COVERAGE OF SUSAN POWELL ON CRIMESIDER