DURHAM, North Carolina — Imagine having to pay the divorce settlement without even having gotten divorced or even having been married in the first place.
A North Carolina judge ordered a Texas man to pay $8.8 million to the ex-husband of the woman with whom he had an affair.
Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson awarded Keith King the giant sum in compensatory and punitive damages from his wife Danielle’s Texan lover, Francisco Huizar III.
King, who runs a BMX bike stunt show business, had sued last year Huizar for criminal conversation and alienation of affection, accusing him of breaking up his marriage.
As it turns out, North Carolina is one of a handful of states that let jilted spouses sue people when someone has sex with a married person before separation, according to the Durham Herald-Sun. Huizar’s lawyer said his client — who lives in San Antonio and earns $84,000 as a marketing tour manager — will appeal.
Keith and Danielle King married on April 3, 2010 and she went to work for his company, BMX Stunt Shows. They now have a 5-year-old daughter.
Keith King’s attorney argued that the affair cost the company money and that he was forced to fire his wife when he discovered the affair and moved to divorce her. He also had to spend more money on household help, child care, and counseling.
Huizar’s attorney said her client was not responsible, as the King’s marriage was already falling apart when he entered the picture. His attorney argued that Keith King, who is 15 years older than his 33-year-old wife, was manipulative, controlled her access to money, forced her to wear bikinis and stiletto heels and made her watch porn.
Danielle and Huizar ended up meeting at a BMX show in New York in 2015 and began the affair, which continued for nearly a year. She testified that she pursued the affair and that her marriage to King was troubled from the start.
According to testimony, Huizar and Danielle met up for trysts in Durham and regularly talked on the phone. In February 2016, the married woman’s lover even joined her on a spa vacation paid for by her husband.
Keith King’s lawyer argued that Huizar’s ‘relentless behavior’ made it impossible for the Kings to save their troubled marriage.
After several attempts to patch things up, the couple separated in January 2017, according to Keith’s lawyer.
In early January, Danielle moved out of her husband’s house and rented an apartment, with Huizar on the lease. When her estranged husband came by one day and found her lover there, the men came to blows and Huizar put him in a choke-hold, according to court papers. His lawyer argued that Huizar was only trying to protect his terrified girlfriend from her husband.
When Judge Hudson delivered the verdict at the conclusion of the civil trial, he noted that it was a ‘textbook case’ of how not to end a marriage in North Carolina.