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In the News

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Wave of celebrity palimony suits indicative of greed


Wave of celebrity palimony suits indicative of greed
Press Release from California Alliance for Families & Children (CAFC)

Sacramento, CA (CAFC) November 14, 2004 - CAFC is appalled by how easily men can be robbed of their possessions by women with whom they share no marital agreement, often based solely on alleged oral agreements that would not be enforceable in other areas of law.

Comedian Bill Maher was hit with a palimony suit on November 10, 2004. An ex-girlfriend is demanding a $9 million payment for alleged verbal and physical abuse. The plaintiff, Nancy Johnson, is a former centerfold model. Johnson, who dated Maher for just 17 months, claims that the comedian reneged on a promise to buy her a Beverly Hills home, and to marry her and have children.

Meanwhile, an ex-girlfriend of Burt Reynolds is suing the Hollywood actor, alleging that he, too, agreed to maintain what is presumably an exorbitant lifestyle of the woman, and to give her half his estate. When Reynolds balked, Pamela Seals threatened to levy false abuse allegations, which Reinhold's attorneys deem "blackmail."

Michael Robinson, spokesperson of the California advocacy group CAFC, commented that the women's lawsuits are another clear indication that the legal system is being used by "gold diggers" to extort money from vulnerable men. These men, along with the California tax payers, are suffering. Thousands are being spent by the California tax payers to pay for the court time that palimony cases take up."

"It's absurd that, even without marrying these men, these women may walk away with millions. Absurd, but not surprising, given the way the California legal system is stacked against men. In California palimony can be set based on oral agreements. California's courts can make a finding of fact that an oral agreement existed - based solely on finding the female more "believable" - even if no such oral agreement had ever been made. ("Oral promise to support for rest of life is enforceable" Byrne v. Laura (1997) 52 Cal.App.4th 1054.)

The website http://www.palimony.com/ provides caselaw before and after the Marvin decision, which should be reviewed by all men who are sharing a residence with an unmarried woman.


Michael Robinson