Steven Avery's Relationship with New Fiancée Is 'Over Already': Source
A source close to the Averys claims Steven hasn't spoken to Lynn since taping a segment for Dr. Phil
The relationship – which was first revealed earlier this month and is the subject of a two-part Dr. Phil special this week – is “over already,” the source says. The split comes after mounting tensions between Hartman and Avery’s family and suspicion on the family’s part of her intentions, the source says.
Speaking to PEOPLE on the condition of anonymity, the source claims Avery and Hartman have not spoken since taping their segments for Dr. Phil and that when Avery does try calling his fiancée, “the number is blocked.”
“Steven just called his mother and told her that he hasn’t talked to Lynn since she filmed Dr. Phil,” the source says. “Something happened at Dr. Phil.”
Reached Monday, Hartman had no comment for PEOPLE on the split.
The source tells PEOPLE that Avery’s family was immediately suspicious of Hartman’s intentions, months before the couple had even met in person.
“She sent him a letter eight months ago, and they started writing back and forth to each other,” the source says, adding, “If you look at the pictures of that first meeting [in prison], you can see she looks so uncomfortable touching him. I think she thought in her head, ‘I can’t actually have sex with this person.’ ”
“The family thinks she is trying to cash in by doing interviews, and now she’ll do even more about the break up,” the source claims.
Hartman has described her first face-to-face meeting with Avery differently, telling PEOPLE last week, “It was just like magic. The first moment I laid eyes on him, I just thought he was a teddy bear.
“The chemistry was there. He came over and sat at the table and we held hands. And it was exactly like I imagined for the months leading up to it.”
But the source tells PEOPLE that tension between Hartman and Avery’s family mounted in the weeks before the couple met and further claims that after the engagement, Hartman insisted Avery scratch several of his longtime supporters and relatives – including his parents – from his visitors list.
“Steven’s mother is devastated because this woman has put a wedge between Steven and his family,” the source claims. “The family feels the need to protect him from this woman.”
Avery’s family began doubting Hartman’s intentions after first meeting her, the source claims. “She’s very pretty – she’s very pretty for Steven,” the source says. “She wants to control the situation.”
The source says the family “questions” several of the people who’ve involved themselves with Avery’s case since the debut of the Netflix documentary series spotlighting his controversial murder conviction.
The Avery relatives “believe these folks are involved for the wrong reasons,” the source says, including Hartman.
In a clip from her Dr. Phil interview airing this week, which begins airing Monday afternoon and which the source says was taped before their split, Hartman says she felt immediately connected to Avery after binge-watching Making a Murderer.
The Las Vegas legal secretary says she wrote to him after “I had concluded that he was set up” and that “the state of Wisconsin saw Steven Avery as a disposable person.”
Hartman told Avery in her letter she was in the midst of a divorce and was surprised to receive a response a few weeks later, she says on Dr. Phil. “I was very attracted to him because I could tell how much he loved me … he was the whole package,” Hartman says.
Marriage came up soon after the two started talking by phone, Hartman says: “He made me feel special.”
• With reporting by DAVE QUINN