Family of NASA astronaut's spouse claims they were 'frightened' over demands to see son

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The estranged wife of a NASA astronaut is explaining why she's going public with the allegations that her spouse accessed her bank account from space.

Summer Worden claims astronaut Anne McClain illegally accessed her financial records while aboard the ISS in an effort to gain custody of Summer's 6-year-old son, Briggs.

McClain's lawyer says she was only monitoring the account to ensure the boy's well being.

In an interview with her mother Beth and ABC13, Worden claims that under the advisement of her attorney, she had actually wanted to keep quiet despite requests from media because she didn't want the case to blow up in her face.

"We really didn't want it to come back in my face and make it look like I was trying to retaliate against Anne or to ruin her career, which is obviously what she is stating now, that I'm trying to ruin her career," Summer explained.

But two weeks ago, Summer says they had a hearing in front of the judge, who awarded a visitation schedule.

ORIGINAL STORY: NASA astronaut accused of accessing spouse's bank account from space

"At that point, I knew I had to come forward and tell my story because the momentum of the case was not going in the direction we were hoping it to go in accordance with the law and preserving my rights as a parent," she said.


Summer brought an FTC complaint against McClain for identity theft, potentially the first criminal allegation from space. She alleges McClain used a space station computer to access her bank account on Earth without her permission.

Summer's parents then filed a complaint about the issue with the NASA Inspector General in June.

WATCH: More from Good Morning America's interview with Summer Worden
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"I could have never imagined something like this would occur in our family."



"As Anne was getting ready to come home, Summer was becoming more and more frightened and let us know about that," Beth Worden said. "We were thinking, 'What on earth is going to happen?' Surely there's no way a third party can take our grandson. He's our firstborn grandson."

The Wordens allege McClain put strenuous demands on their family, including that she be able to legally adopt Briggs, but Summer says she told her no, which she claims McClain did not respect.

"I just felt that she was almost held hostage. She was demanding that she had Briggs, this time, that time, and I could see how it was affecting Briggs," Beth said.

"It seems like right now Anne controls our life. We have to be home at 7 o'clock, three nights a week, so she can FaceTime with him. Well that's the time that we're eating dinner, just getting home from soccer practice, and then every other Saturday she gets to see him so that takes him away from us," she continued.

On Saturday, McClain tweeted a statement, saying:

"There is absolutely no truth to these claims that I have done anything wrong or inappropriate. Summer and I have been going through a painful and personal separation that is now unfortunately playing out in the media. I appreciate all the outpouring of support, and I will reserve any further comment until after the investigation concludes. I have complete confidence in the IG process."



NASA also released a statement saying they do not comment on personal or personnel issues.

"I loved Anne. I thought she was a good person back when I met her, and I don't know what's happened, but I just wish Anne would realize this is not her son. Just let Briggs be with his family. That's all I want to happen," Beth said.

While in space, McClain tried to get a gag order and to seal the court fight, but was denied.

"I want Anne to take the pressure off and drop the case and be a nice person. If she ever wants to have a relationship with Briggs or talk with Briggs or be informed on Briggs' life, clearly just as a decent human being, the right thing to do is to stop trying to force and take through the court system," Summer said.

McClain's attorney, Rusty Hardin, released a statement as well on the matter:

"Family cases are extremely difficult and private matters for all parties involved. Neither Anne nor we will be commenting on this personal matter. We appreciate the media's understanding and respect as maintaining privacy is in the best interest of the child and family members involved. We will be glad to fully comment once the investigation is completed."

McClain and Summer's divorce trial is set to begin in Houston next month.

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She claims NASA astronaut Anne McClain illegally accessed her financial records while aboard the ISS is an effort to gain custody of her son.

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