The ex-mother-in-law of Bill Oefelein says Lisa Nowak "needs to be prayed for"

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated February 08, 2007 01:00 PM

The former mother-in-law of the man at the center of the “Astronaut Love Triangle” is speaking out about Lisa Nowak’s arrest – but she denies reports that she labeled Nowak a “home wrecker.”

Nowak is charged with attempted kidnapping and attempted first-degree murder of a woman she allegedly believed was a romantic rival for the affection of astronaut Bill Oefelein.

Charlene Davis, whose daughter Michaella was married to Oefelein, told PEOPLE Thursday: “I feel sorry for [Nowak.] She has made a lot of bad decisions in her life. She has kids and she needs to be prayed for.”

Davis also said she bears no ill will toward her or Oefelein. (Michaella and Oefelein were married for 17 years, the New York Post reported.) “When he and my daughter were married, we had great times together,” she says. “But, we’re done and everyone has moved on.”

Recently, Oefelein, a 41-year-old Navy commander, has reportedly been involved with Army Air Force Capt. Colleen Shipman, 30 – the woman whom Nowak, a 43-year-old mother of three (and recently separated from her husband of 19 years) drove 900 miles to confront. Nowak’s bizarre tale is this week’s PEOPLE cover story.

Nowak and Oefelein had trained together as astronauts but never undertook a space mission together.