Stockbroker Files $7 Million Defamation Suit Against Estranged Wife
Some divorces get very ugly. Heated emotions during a breakup can lead spouses to level serious charges at each other. Whether the allegations are true or not, harsh words frequently make the marriage dissolution process much more time-consuming and difficult. However, things can get even worse when someone looks to harm their soon-to-be ex by trashing them to a third party.
Thea Shive, the estranged wife of stockbroker Jean-Charles Beriau, may be learning this lesson now that her husband has filed a $7 million defamation lawsuit against her. Mr. Beriau claims that as he was moving from Merrill Lynch to Morgan Stanley in 2002, his wife emailed both financial institutions stating that he had numerous serious problems that would pose a risk to employers. Among other things, Ms. Shive’s emails said her husband had used drugs and potentially contracted a sexually transmitted disease from a prostitute. The defamation suit also alleges that Ms. Shive sent messages to her husband’s clients advising them to cease working with him because he was being investigated for securities fraud.
Your divorce might not involve explosive allegations or a multimillion dollar defamation lawsuit, but ending a marriage is tough enough without raising the temperature unnecessarily. These tips can help you keep the focus where it really matters:
- Understand the nature of the divorce process — When the judge issues a divorce order, no one is designated as the good or bad spouse. The process is meant to reach appropriate terms relating to parenting arrangements and finances. Adultery and other types of marital misbehavior often are not considered at all, so trashing your ex won’t help your case.
- Keep outsiders outside — You might need a shoulder to cry on when your marriage ends, but the problems you had with your husband or wife should probably be kept within a small circle of friends and family. Talking your spouse down to their friends or co-workers just because you want to humiliate them is not healthy behavior and could lead to a defamation action like the line filed against Ms. Shive.
- Let your legal case do the talking — Even if you’re in the middle of a complex divorce where your spouse’s misconduct is relevant in some way, you don’t help yourself by litigating your case through gossip or social media. It’s best to keep your allegations and evidence to yourself until your attorney decides it’s the right time to raise them.
Bryan L. Salamone & Associates, P.C. is the Long Island leader in divorce cases, providing sound insight and strong guidance even when there are serious disagreements between spouses. To discuss your case with an experienced New York attorney, please call 1.631.479.3839 or contact us online.