Did you see this story last week? About the guy in North Carolina who sued his wife’s affair partner with a “homewrecker” law — and won a $750,000 verdict?
North Carolina is one of 8 states that still has “alienation of affection” laws on the books, although they are rarely enforced. So, this win is something like a two-headed calf of karmic justice and people are losing their shit about it.
The verdict was even a topic of conversation on The View. (To our non-U.S. reading audience, a popular women’s talk show.)
Co-host Sunny Hostin told the panel that she would do the same thing if she ever found herself in [the chump’s] situation. “I’m in support of this law. I have no problem with it,” said Hostin. “I think that if someone knows the other person is married and decides to be an interloper then they can get sued. I would do it,” she added.
(Apparently, most people on Twitter were #TeamSunny on this.)
The chump who filed the lawsuit, Robert Kevin Howard, did it after months of marriage counseling with his cheating wife (aka cake-eating; aka pick me dancing). By June 23, 2017 he’d had enough. He brought suit about 2 weeks later and was divorced by September.
“I filed the case because I felt it’s very important that people understand that the sanctity of marriage is important, especially in this day and age when people question everyone’s morals, people question everyone’s viability as a person,” he told WITN. “And the state backed me up on it.”
Lots of folks in CN have sent this article to me for a reaction. So here it is:
1.) Why didn’t the wife get sued? She did. It’s called divorce. I do agree the cheating wife sucks more than the affair partner, but Schmoopies have culpability too. And 8 states recognize that — so pro tip: don’t fuck married people in those states. If the cheating wife feels really terrible about the injustice of the verdict, she can kick in for Schmoop’s legal defense, like a pal.
2.) This is not the patriarchy. This is about being defrauded. A lot of the comments I read were about how backassward North Carolina is, and the law is about wives being their husbands’ chattel. Look, the law works the other way too — women can sue their husband’s mistresses. (Would it get a big verdict? That’s debatable. We’re used to women chumps eating shit sandwiches.)
I see it this way — you had a thing of “value” — a family, a marriage — and Schmoopie conspired to damage and defraud you, and harmed your family. I agree the #1 bad guy is the cheating spouse — but Schmoops drove the getaway car.
We live in a legal system where someone can have scalding coffee spilled on them at McDonalds and get millions in a verdict. (Which btw, I think is FAIR. McDonalds was warned their coffee was dangerously hot and didn’t change this until it got slapped with a verdict.) As a chump, would you rather be burned by coffee or burned by your partner? Which is worse?
In just about every other legal situation, we recognize the costs of defrauding people and harming innocents. Except in marriage. It used to be legal to rape your wife. That changed. Maybe this will too.
3.) The Washington Post’s coverage of this was awful. (And for the record, I love WaPo, so no “fake news” bashing PLEASE.)
I could UBT the entire thing. It’s Monday morning and I don’t have the time, but let’s begin with “scorned” husband, “consummating” their relationship, “paramour”, and the random lawyer quoted who was outraged and thinks children will be scarred by potentially reading legal documents.
Mom risking your intact home life and chumping dad for workplace sexy time at school? Oh yeah, nothing scarring about that. Dad trying to save the marriage while mom fucks around on him? Carry on! Mom screwing a man invited into your life as a family friend? Positively STABILIZING.
But, whatever you do — do NOT peek into that legal binder in 2026, children!
WTF Ashley Nicole Russell, Esq? You are a moron.
CN, what are your thoughts on this case?