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July 1, 2007

The Diaper Story Gets Changed (OT)

Of course you remember Lisa Nowak, the astronaut who drove 950 miles from Houston to Orlando earlier this year, wearing a NASA-issued adult diaper to eliminate the need for rest stops, in order to confront a woman she believed was her rival for the affections of a fellow astronaut.

Well, according to her attorney, Donald Lykkebak, Nowak was wearing her normal undergarments: The media had gotten the story wrong because there were diapers in the trunk of her car – toddler-sized diapers that had been there since 2005.

Lykkebak explained that the whole family, adults and children alike, had used the diapers when they were forced to evacuate their Houston home in the wake of Hurricane Rita – diapers that were designed to fit a waist between 15 and 19 inches.

None of which explains why Nowak told an Orlando police detective that she’d used them during her February 5 drive so she wouldn’t have to stop at restrooms (though presumably she did have to stop for gas) – or why, if the diaper detail is a “preposterous tale,” as Lykkebak calls it, he waited almost five months to refute it. He refers to this as “the biggest lie” about the case, which doesn’t bode well for the now-former astronaut who faces attempted kidnapping, battery, and attempted vehicle burglary with battery charges.

The truth might never be known, since the diapers were never taken into evidence.

Doesn’t matter. Facts notwithstanding, Nowak will always be The Astronaut Who Drove From Texas to Florida Wearing a Diaper, because that’s how we’ll choose to remember the story.


  1. People like the diapers version better because it gives them a whipping… girl. Another media-made pinata to sell papers to people who’d rather put others down than improve themselves.

    Gosh, that sounds hostile, huh? lol

    Comment by heartgnosis — June 29, 2007 @ 6:21 pm

  2. This crushes my dream of owning some astronaut diapers for maximum laziness.

    My question on this story was always: “Why would she need to wear a diaper when she obviously would have to stop for gas on the trip?”

    Comment by Krusher — June 29, 2007 @ 7:38 pm

  3. That makes a lot more sense.

    But then, if she hadn’t driven cross-country to whack her romantic rival, this misunderstanding would never have happened. So I’m not particularly sad that she’s going to be slapped with this monicker.

    Comment by meep — June 30, 2007 @ 5:18 am

  4. Bill, I don’t think you need to be accepting the attorney’s story as fact just yet. After all, his version directly contradicts Nowak’s own statements. According to the police report, investigators found two used diapers in a trash bag in the back of Nowak’s car at the time of her arrest. Under questioning, Nowak specifically stated that she had used them on that trip to avoid having to stop to use the bathroom.

    Even under the attorney’s story, Nowak used toddler-sized diapers during the evacuation (ahem) following Hurricane Rita. So he wants the public to believe that yes, she used them back then, and yes, she told police that she used them this time, but nonetheless she didn’t use them this time. I don’t blame him for trying to spin his way out of this detail, but I don’t particularly believe him, either.

    Comment by Tom T. — July 1, 2007 @ 2:17 pm

  5. So much of news, and talk about news, isn’t the accurate story, but instead is the story we _want_ to be reading and talking about.

    Comment by ctdonath — July 5, 2007 @ 9:49 pm

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