A woman who discovered her husband was gay after almost six years of marriage has unsuccessfully attempted to sue him for $AU860,000.
The unnamed South African woman took her case to Cape Town’s top court. She demanded R5m ($AU479,000) for emotional pain and psychological trauma and R4m ($AU383,000) for loss of income and “financial prejudice”.
According to Times Live, judge Mark Sher wrote in his statement, “The basis for the damages claim and the extraordinary sums which are sought … is that the [husband] is alleged to have ‘misrepresented’ to her, prior to their marriage, that he was a heterosexual male who wished to marry her so that they could have children in a heterosexual, monogamous marriage.”
The husband told her he was gay two months before the couple’s sixth wedding anniversary, “since which time they have no longer lived together as man and wife”, he wrote.
“The basis for the damages claim and the extraordinary sums which are sought…is that the [husband] is alleged to have ‘misrepresented’ to her, prior to their marriage, that he was a heterosexual male who wished to marry her so that they could have children in a heterosexual, monogamous marriage,” he said.
According to the judge, the furious wife’s affidavit was “largely devoted to narrating, in the finest and most intimate detail, how [the husband] came to reveal that he was homosexual.”
The document “set out in further explicit detail the contents of highly private and personal communications.” This included text messages, records of her husband’s “private internet browsing activity,” as well as his private communications with his priest.
“Publication of this material could be said to constitute an unjustified breach of [the husband’s] right to privacy, if not that of [the wife] herself,” the judge said.
Judge dismisses woman’s case against gay husband
The judge dismissed the case and ordered the woman’s lawyer to forfeit his fee and pay the husband’s legal fees.
He ruled that the woman’s lawsuit included “everything but the proverbial kitchen sink”. He accused the lawyer of “an abuse of process” on his part.
The judge also claimed the woman was seeking such a high amount in order to pay her excessive legal fees, totalling at least R946,000 ($AU90,700).
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