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Wives Who Sue Mistresses: Is This OK?

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NBA star Dwyane Wade's estranged wife is suing his girlfriend, actress Gabrielle Union, and claims that their relationship is causing their two sons emotional distress.

David Boreanaz, Dwyane Wade

The lawsuit alleges that Union engaged in sexual foreplay in front of the boys, which "severely inflicted the Plaintiffs emotionally and mentally."

"Defendant has played sexually explicit roles, including roles as a seductress," the lawsuit reads. "Defendant has apparently decided to take her role beyond the films and into the home of a married man, Dwyane Wade, in the presence of his two minor children."

Siohvaughn Wade is seeking $50,000 in damages.

But she's not the only one who wants to take her hubby's mistress to court: David Boreanaz's wife is reportedly considering filing a lawsuit against his ex-mistress, too. Boreanaz confessed to the affair on May 3rd, and says that the ex-mistress is trying to extort money from him. RadarOnline has reported that Boreanaz's wife is already considering taking the mistress to court.

The queen of all mistress-suers, Cynthia Shackelford, sued her husband's mistress, Anne Lundquist, for ruining her marriage, claiming alienation of affection and intentionally or recklessly causing severe emotional distress. She was awarded nine million dollars. Yes, NINE MILLION.

Attorney Robin Sax says, "These types of suits are called 'alienation of affection.' While [most] laws have abolished them, seven [states] still have the law on the books: Hawaii, Illinois, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Dakota and Utah. Supporters of the laws say the threat of such legal action helps protect the sanctity of marriage. But in reality, they do not protect the sanctity of marriage -- and don't help the odds of amicable divorce. These cases result in already-contentious divorces getting even more heated. Then add the public airing of the dirty laundry -- the personal shortcomings and wild tales of infidelity. That does little to benefit anyone -- especially the kids who have to live through it."

Psychologist Wendy Walsh doesn't think that suing the mistress is a good idea, either. She says, "When women sue and attack other women -- no matter the transgression -- we are living out a damaging double standard. Before the sexual revolution, the double standard said that men gained points for sexual experience and women lost points (and their reputations) for their own sexual behavior.

"In the new post-feminist world, where everyone seems to fairly own their own orgasm, the new double standard implies that men cannot help themselves for their bad behavior and women can -- and should -- stop men," she continues. "While I think that many, many women have taken sexual equality a bit too far and are acting EXACTLY like the worst form of promiscuous man, I also think that men should be forced to act a little more like ladies and show some restraint. A mistress is never the cause of a divorce. She is but a symptom of the problem. And the problems include a lack of relationship skills within marriages, a lack of intellectual commitment to monogamy and a sexualized media that glorifies infidelity."

Not everyone agrees. Most moms we spoke with said that if someone went after their man and threatened their family, they'd sue them without a second thought. What about you?

next: 'My Kid Got Lyme Disease'
45 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous May 10, 2010, 4:11 AM

If my state allowed it and my husband cheated and it ruined our marriage, I would sue the other women! I’m sorry but I have no respect for a man or women who knowingly interfers with other person marraige. As it is stated in the bible, What God has joined together may no man divide.

Katherine White May 10, 2010, 4:30 AM

I think Wendy is wrong. It’s not about attacking another woman - It’s about having some means to defend yourself. The wife has already been “attacked,” as has her family life and children. Women who have affairs with married men know exactly what they are doing. I think it’s repulsive to do that to another woman (of course, they’ll be plenty upset when they finally get married & it’s done to them…). It’s not just up the men anymore to “keep it in their pants.” If you want to be promiscuous, I suppose that can’t be stopped - but do it with someone who doesn’t have a family to go home to - and who obviously needs to work out his own issues within that family and not spending (wasting) his time with you.

chris May 10, 2010, 5:22 AM

“When women sue and attack other women, no matter the transgression, we are living out a damaging double-standard. Before the sexual revolution, the double standard said that men gained points for sexual experience and women lost points (and their reputations) for their own sexual behavior.

Read more:

You are sooo wrong about this. This is not able double standards, it is about respecting other peoples marraige. I don’t care if one of the people in the marriage is unhappy or just looking for fun, no one and I mean no one should put themselves in the middle of another person marriage. All that bull about but I love him/her. You did not love them when you first met them and as soon as you know they are married, you back out. period. And as far as the “sexual revoluation” goes, what century are you living in??? That was over 50 yrs ago and what have we learned since then, 1 in 4 people are carry some type of STD or HIV. There is no sexual revoluation again more. People should be selective of who they slept with and protected at all time. It’s careless to just make it sound like women should go out and sleep with whoever because we now owned our orgasms. Stupid Stupid.

tennmom May 10, 2010, 7:19 AM

When women chose to cheat with a married man, a man she knows is married, especially if she knows he has children, she deserves to pay and so does he. It is beyond low for a man or a woman to cheat with a married person.

Black Iris May 10, 2010, 8:02 AM

I think it’s great to sue the outsider in an affair, whether they’re a man or a woman. It’s a way to deter others. Why should people get off scott free when they sleep with a married person? The outsider clearly doesn’t mind hurting the family. In fact, why can’t women sue to get back any large gifts their husband gives to a paramour? Why should a man have a right to spend money on a mistress?

Gigohead  May 10, 2010, 9:54 AM

I think the idea is fantastic if there was a court of moral opinion. But since these isn’t one, its based on the law, I think these lawsuits are frivolous and that’s not how I want my tax dollars used. It’s my tax dollars that keep judges hired, lights in the courthouse on, clerk salaries, etc.

Sorry, I feel bad for wives, but this is not the venue for payback.

samham May 10, 2010, 2:59 PM


Tort law is different from Criminal law….The employees are there anyways might as well make them work….

“A body of rights, obligations, and remedies that is applied by courts in civil proceedings to provide relief for persons who have suffered harm from the wrongful acts of others. The person who sustains injury or suffers pecuniary damage as the result of tortious conduct is known as the plaintiff, and the person who is responsible for inflicting the injury and incurs liability for the damage is known as the defendant or tortfeasor.”

Kate Hayes May 10, 2010, 9:41 PM

Coming from someone who went through a divorce where there was another woman involved…I think it is better to try to move on as quickly as possible. A lawsuit would only prolong the suffering and bitterness. I was able to move past my first husband and our 12 years together in a short time, by God’s grace, and soon married the love of my life. Now every time I see my ex-husband’s (still) girlfriend during drop-offs with our daughter, I could not be more thankful that she entered the picture and I am not married to him anymore. In retrospect, it was almost like a “Get out of jail free” card. I am so much happier than I ever dreamed I could be - and other “jilted” wives could be too. I know it is not “fair,” and no woman deserves to be treated that way. But you will be better off if you can just forgive and forget.

Anonymous May 11, 2010, 10:10 AM

I should. The wench was stark naked while my toddler boy slept. Have some modesty!!

Sheyla May 12, 2010, 8:29 AM

Please all u bitter women don’t have anything going on outside of the marriage that’s why HE CHEATED!! The woman made NO vows to u. Someone said as soo as u find out he’s married u should step out of the pic? Really? so when hen he found out he was married why didn’t he leave the situation alone. People who have no respect for peaople who sleep w/married men forget that the MEN are MARRIED!! The bottom line is to get a life!! and realize u are the prize in the situation.

Kyss May 12, 2010, 9:17 AM

I think the man should be held accountable, and the woman is not all the way at fault. It seems like you women are excusing the men who are at fault. It’s the men that are bringing these women into your relationships. It takes two and it seems to me that some of you women are jealous of the other womens financial wealth. It’s your husband that cheated on you not the other women.

It depends May 14, 2010, 8:25 AM

The problem is that alienation of affection means a couple had a happy marriage with the exception of typical marital discord. So if a woman comes along and intentionally attempts to steal the heart of another’s husband, then this may be an appropriate means of legal action. However, what about the marriage where they’ve been in turmoil for years, the wife has refused to have any physical relations (her choice) with the husband for 2 years, was involuntarily committed to a psych ward last time he tried to leave her for being mean, nasty and belittling all the time, and so on and so forth. This wife has alienated her husband from her own affection, by choice. So when another woman enters the picture, should she be prosecuted for being responsible for stealing the affection away from the wife’s husband? Sure, it may not be right from a moral standpoint; however, from a legal standpoint, this does not meet the requirement and thus should not be used as a means of revenge from an otherwise already mean wife. This law is commonly misused and brings public airing and monetary distress to someone having to defend themselves from being the cause of the failed marriage.

nikki May 16, 2010, 3:31 AM

Shame on you the wife who sues the other woman. She is clearly not a scape goat for your marital problem. A classy woman would own up to her part of the marital discord, learn from her marriage’s shortcomings, and move on. An insecure woman typically would marry for all the wrong reasons and then ends up suing the mistress also for all the wrong reasons - just to show the whole world her insecurity all over again. LOL!

Anonymous May 17, 2010, 11:47 PM

as woman our first reaction is to attack “the other woman” i’ve been on both sides of the fence and its a hurtful place to be in. so i understand that she is mad at “her” but truly if someone steps into ur spotlight it was already some problems u as a couple or married couple were going through so u really can’t blame her. “Like i always told my boyfriend(r.i.p) she wouldn’t be here if it was you i’m not mad at her it’s u partner.” so suing her still ain’t helping nothing he’ll just find another way to hind it better and move to the next one. So that answer to the real question is why stay? Would you stay if he was beating you, if he didn’t have tons of money, would you give him another chance if he was an average joe? Answer to all of these ? should be NO……

Emma Francis August 15, 2010, 2:13 PM

Women should have the right to sue their spouses mistress. I know from experience. My husband started a whole new family and I had no knowledge. Due to my job it caused me to move around quite often. My husband and I spoke about it and we agree. when my job request me to move I would take the children and he would continue to work and he would visit as often as possible. we did not fight or argue. I taught that every thing was peachie cream. while I was deployed I found out that my husband had another family. I did not agrgue with him. I simply asked him if what I was hearing was true. His reply to me was none of my business. we have five children together and he has one by this other woman. WHile I was deployed my husband moved out of the house purchase a house for this woman who also has five children. Of one is by my husband, the other four is not his. He is supporting someone elses children and leaving ours behind. I am currently deployed again and my children are alone caring for each other. So now tell me why should women not sue for what they think is right. I will be home in two month. And heaven help them.

Bryan Affair September 8, 2010, 11:40 AM

Are you people crazy? A woman should not be able to sue her husbands mistress. This law is based on a time when women were considered a man’s property and so when a man slept with his wife it was considered stealing from him. Hate affairs if you to, that doesn’t mean they belong in the courts. If a woman wants to sue her husband for a divorce than fine but his mistress does not owe her anything. Laws should not be governed by emotions, the fact that so many of you think this is reasonable blows my mind. Get a grip.

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Anonymous October 1, 2010, 11:44 PM

No, that’s ridiculous.
A woman can’t “steal” a man away from his wife. When a husband is cheating, there are obviously problems in the marriage. I don’t see the logic behind blaming an outside party for your marital problems. The “other woman” doesn’t owe the wife anything; she didn’t take any vows with her. The husband, however, did. And he’s the one to blame; that’s where divorce comes in handy. Leave him and move on or stay and get over it.

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