The wife of the former Tennessee teacher accused of kidnapping his teen student has spoken to her estranged husband since his arrest but has no plans to take him back, she told Inside Edition this week.
Jill Cummins — who recently filed for divorce from Tad Cummins after 31 years of marriage — said in a two-part interview, airing Thursday and Friday, that Tad called her from behind bars several days ago.
“‘He kept saying, ‘I love you,’ and I said, ‘I’m sorry, but I’m not going to say that back,’ ” Jill recalled.
“I, of course, went into a rage: ‘Do you know what you’ve done to me? Do you know what you’ve done to your girls and your grandchildren?’ He pretty much just over and over said, ‘I’m sorry.’ ”
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Jill said he continued to call her “many times” from jail. “I just don’t answer the phone,” she said.
She insisted she won’t take him back, telling Inside Edition, “I won’t let him hurt me like that again. I will not let him betray me like that again. I won’t give him the opportunity, ever again.”
She has spoken publicly about the case before, including urging Tad to return during his weeks-long disappearance.
Tad, a 50-year-old former health sciences teacher, is accused of kidnapping Elizabeth Thomas, his 15-year-old student at Culleoka Unit School in Maury, County Tennessee.
The two disappeared on March 13 and were discovered last week in a remote cabin in Cecilville, California, after a tipster saw the pair and contacted authorities on Wednesday night, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
Tad was arrested and Elizabeth was safely recovered, and she is now home and reunited with her family.
Prosecutors and Elizabeth’s family allege Tad “groomed” her for months leading up to the pair’s disappearance. He had previously been suspended from his teaching job when he was allegedly caught kissing Elizabeth at school, and he was fired after he and Elizabeth went missing.
Related Video: Watch Elizabeth Thomas’ Father Speak Out About Her Alleged Kidnapping
Jill said on Inside Edition that she confronted her husband about the allegations he filled a prescription for Cialis while he was gone.
“I said, ‘Well, did you sleep with her?’ And he said, ‘Yes I did.’ And I didn’t want any details, but I knew the truth. I just wanted to hear it from him to me,” she said.
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Tad faces kidnapping and sex crime charges in California and Tennessee as well as a federal charge of transporting a minor with the intent to engage in sexual activity across state lines.
Federal prosecutors have alleged in court documents that Tad “planned and executed an audacious scheme to take a juvenile victim across the United States while evading law enforcement for the purposes of engaging in criminal sexual conduct.”
Jill told Inside Edition it “was very hard to hear his voice after all this time, not knowing if I was going to hear it again. But he told me he was sorry. He told me he loved me and please forgive him.”
Tad appeared in federal court in Sacramento, California, on Monday afternoon. He has not entered a plea and was detained as a flight risk. His defense attorney says he doesn’t have a violent history and claims he did not coerce, force or threaten Elizabeth — which her family has dismissed.
He will be transported to Tennessee “as soon as possible,” a U.S. Attorney’s Office spokeswoman said.
Jill’s interview with Inside Edition airs Thursday and Friday. Check local listings.