There seems to be a pattern emerging in the great state of North Carolina: alleged adulterous affair, followed by suit for alienation of affection. Surely it is not because there is more extra-marital activity in that state, but because it is one of only seven states where a civil lawsuit can directly result from all the sneakin' around. Please recall the potential suit in February by Elizabeth Edwards, not against her husband's paramour Reille Hunter, but against his alleged enabler, aide Andrew Young. Another suit, also in North Carolina, by civilian Cynthia Shackelford made headlines and the Early Show not long ago, as well.
In this case, the early stage of the action seems to accuse American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino of being a party to the end of the marriage between her alleged boyfriend, Antwuan Cook, and his wife, Paula Cook, according to a report by local Charlotte news WCNC-TV. According the to report, in fine celebrity style, there is a Fantasia sex tape involved, which is now being cited as evidence by the soon to be ex-Mrs. Cook. "Husband and Ms. Barrino have at times recorded their illicit sexual activity," court documents said. Of course they did.
At this point, the legal action is limited to the complaint for divorce, custody and support. Ms. Barrino is named in the suit as party to Antwuan Cook's "marital misconduct" as defined by the North Carolina Statutes Sec. 50-16.1A (3), according to the Complaint.
A UPI report is eagerly looking forward to the alienation of affection or even possible criminal conversation allegations to follow. The alienation of affection suit in N.C. is, as already noted, a well trodden path, but criminal conversation might cover new ground. Criminal conversation, contrary to its name is not a crime, but a tort (civil action) that involves the seduction of another person's spouse. Like alienation of affection, it may be considered when a third party destroys a marital relationship, attorney Suzanne Begnoche tells UPI.
After the recent spurt of suits in the news, the North Carolina legislature may well ask itself whether such laws remaining on the books really do promote the welfare of the state's still married citizens. In the emotionally charged area of adultery and divorce, the chance to pursue additional legal actions, especially those based on an ancient view of marriage as a form of property right, may only serve to prolong harm the participants - including any children. It sure hasn't proven to be a deterrent, at least if recent events are any indication. In any case, look for your American Idol to be the subject of more nasty litigation. Perhaps Simon has one last comment?