Who are Kyle Rittenhouse's parents? Teen was in Kenosha to visit dad before shooting
Kyle Rittenhouse's emotional testimony on November 10 didn't just leave him in tears, but also his mother Wendy who was in the room that day. Over the past year, Wendy Rittenhouse has been at the forefront of her son's case, defending him in the public and even threatening President Joe Biden for labeling her son an "extremist". She has given numerous interviews and even runs a 'Free Kyle' website.
In a bid to drum up support for the embattled teenager, fans of Kyle began selling merchandise in his name, raising funds for his legal fight. Days later, the family joined in as well, selling 'Free Kyle' bikinis, t-shirts, hoodies, and even iPhone covers through a website. Wendy's routine presence in the media has also led to calls for her to be arrested, since she drove Kyle 20 miles to Kenosha on August 25, 2020.
On the other hand, Kyle's father has been conspicuously absent from the drama and media around the case. Interestingly, the case has also exposed some facts about the family, and the struggles they face. Here's everything we know about Kyle's parents and their current situation.
Who are Kyle Rittenhouse's parents?
Wendy is a well-known figure now, and as a result, there is a lot we know about her. She's a single mother to three children and a certified nursing assistant. In February 2000, she married Mike Rittenhouse but the couple struggled to get by. Eventually, the two divorced and Wendy remained with the kids in Antioch, Illinois, while Mike moved away. A New Yorker profile says Wendy has dyslexia, and her struggles with money led to her being evicted in 2018.
Shortly after, Wendy filed for bankruptcy and attempted to overdose. She wound up in the hospital along with her daughter Faith, pushing Kyle to take two jobs while studying online. Little else is known about Wendy, who has managed to keep her personal life well out of the spotlight despite the focus on her during the trial.
But even less is known about Mike Rittenhouse. The New Yorker reported he struggled with alcohol and drug addiction while working multiple jobs including as a machine operator. Reportedly, at one point he hit Wendy in the stomach, leading to domestic battery charges. The charges were eventually dropped, but it led to the divorce. He's now reportedly sober and wants to "be more connected to his family," but it is unclear just how connected he is.
According to Kyle's defense attorney, the teen was in Kenosha the night of the shooting to meet with his dad, who worked as a lifeguard in the city. Reportedly, he would do this often, but that particular night, he was with a friend cleaning up graffiti. Insider also revealed that Mike has been paying $84 in child support to his family since March 2014, and will continue to do so till May 2022. When Wendy first filed for child support, Mike was listed as an employee of QPS Employment Group Inc, a Brookfield, Wisconsin-based staffing agency. It's not clear when he moved to Kenosha.
Wendy Rittenhouse may not have driven her son to Kenosha on August 25, but she is now in the city and present in the courtroom while Kyle's case is being heard. So far, Mike has not been seen in court and it is unclear if he has ever gotten in touch with the family since the shooting. He certainly hasn't spoken publicly about the case, while Wendy said in an interview, "He’s not a monster... He didn’t, he didn’t do anything wrong. He was attacked by a mob."