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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Their cheatin' hurts

What a great defense -- the "my affections were not alientated, I was always a cheater" argument. Cynthia Shackelford sued Anne Lundquist, the mistress of her husband Allan, under North Carolina's odd "Alienation of Affection" law for the breakup of her 33-year marriage and was awarded $9 million by a jury:

In a post to the newspaper's Web site, Allan Shackelford said his marriage didn't fail because of Lundquist.

Shackelford, 62, wrote that he had had "numerous affairs going back to the first two years" of his marriage and that the couple had "significant problems in their marriage for years, including three rounds of marital counseling that failed."

North Carolina is one of seven states that have such laws. Apparently, they evolved from the common law under which women were considered the property of their husbands, but today both men and women can sue, which must be some kind of social progress, and North Carolina gets about 200 cases a year.

Wouldn't want to end the law, would we? That'd be the same a decriminalizing adultery, and lord knows where that would lead.


Bob G.
Tue, 03/23/2010 - 10:50am

Lemme guess...Washington, D.C.?