Can a wife sue her husband’s mistress? I’m fascinated by the concept. There have been a few notable cases in which women have been successful in one fashion or another. Behind all of the emotions that marriage entails, it boils down to a legal contract between two adults. If someone interferes with that contract, there may be grounds for a lawsuit against the offending party, in this case the mistress. If that is the case, there are some laws and statues that can provide remedies.
The latest high profile case involves LA Clippers team owner Donald Sterling. The story includes racist comments, a lifetime ban from basketball, fines, audio recordings, a bigtime scandal… and one very pissed off wife who is suing the mistress. Donald Sterling has created quite a mess. In fact, in my opinion, he has earned a lifetime achievement award from the Douchebag Mens Club.
In case you missed it, here’s a recap…
Donald’s wife of over 50 years, Rochelle, is suing the girlfriend, V. Stiviano “seeking to protect and recover community property in her individual capacity.” Rochelle alleges that her 80-year old husband used community property to lavish gifts on his 31-year old girlfriend (yep—a 50 year age difference—ewe) including $1.8 million for a duplex in a swanky area of downtown Los Angeles, $240,000 for upkeep and living expenses, and three cars totaling over $500,000 (a Ferrari, two Bentleys and a Range Rover). In the case of the duplex, Rochelle gave Donald permission to purchase the property but it was supposed to be in her and her husband’s name. Instead, it was purchased in V’s name and she has refused to turn over the title or relinquish it (I’ve gotta say, would you turn over the title to a pricey home if you didn’t have to?). Rochelle’s lawsuit seeks the return of the gifts and compensatory damages.
The lawsuit goes on to accuse V. of engaging “in conduct designed to target, befriend, seduce, and then entice, cajole, borrow from, cheat and/or receive as gifts transfers of wealth from wealthy older men whom she targets for such purpose.”
V, through her attorney, has responded by stating that she, as recipient of a gift, is not required to return anything and that no fraud was involved. Furthermore, V’s “feminine wiles [did not] overpower the iron will of Sterling, who is well known as one of the most shrewd businessmen in the world.”
The road to lawsuit and disgrace began years prior.
V. Stiviano was originally born Maria Vanessa Perez in October 1982 in Los Angeles. In 2010, she legally changed her name to V. Stiviano for this reason: “Born from a rape case and having yet been fully accepted because of my race.” Apparently, she has used three different aliases. (Did Donald not thoroughly vet out this woman before getting this involved? Smart guy? Um, well, I think that’s debatable.)
Also in 2010, V. met Donald at a Super Bowl party and the two began dating, though V. denies they were ever more than just close friends. Which totally makes sense. My very old male friends buy me lots of amazing gifts, too, just because they want to– no strings attached! Totally normal.
Not long ago, Rochelle and Donald both began demanding from V. that she turn the Los Angeles duplex over to them, in addition to returning the cars. V. refused. Rochelle filed the lawsuit against V. this past March 2014. And things started going downhill fast. Donald allegedly told Clippers President Andy Roeser that V. would “get even” with the Sterlings for filing the lawsuit. Around that time, V. secretly recorded an apparently one hour conversation between her and Donald at a basketball game, a portion of which was leaked to TMZ and eventually caused the uproar and scandal that led to Donald’s lifetime ban of basketball, $2.5 million fine, and national disgrace.
For her part, V. through attorney denies leaking the recording. According to her statement, she is devastated by the aftermath and Donald’s lifetime ban. She never wanted to harm Donald and that while someone obviously released the tape for the money, it wasn’t her. On her Facebook page, she wrote: “This is not what I intended, but racism should not be tolerated in this country.”
Um, is anyone else smelling a rat? Because it smells so bad around here that I’m gagging.
…Not that I’m defending the ultimate asshole and racist Donald Sterling. Let’s just call this whole sordid mess karma. It’s amazing how that works, isn’t it?
But back to the wife, Rochelle. Can she, or any other wife, sue the honey? Gosh I think yes, I certainly believe that there are powerful reasons to do it and, hopefully, be successful. And this is one of them. But I also think that Rochelle should sue her own husband (after she’s released the death-grip on his balls).
Even in the real world that most of us live in, infidelity causes irreparable harm to families and individuals. And there are real cases in which the victim should be entitled to damages. Should (some) cheaters walk away unscathed leaving in their wake of lies and deceit total chaos and disaster while everyone else suffers and picks up the pieces? I say no. How the Sterling case shakes out remains to be seen but I’ll be staying tuned.