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DURHAM, NC — A jilted husband in North Carolina was able to force the man who his wife cheated with to pay him $8.8 million using the state’s adultery law.

A judge ordered Francisco Huizar III (above left) to pay $8.8 million to Keith King (above right), whose wife, Danielle Swords, he had been seeing for over a year. The couple have a five-year-old daughter.

In North Carolina, it is legal for an innocent spouse to sue an individual his or her spouse has had a relationship with outside of the marriage — which is referred to as “alienation of affection.”

King filed the suit on grounds of criminal conversation, alienation of affection, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and assault and battery.

King and his wife had been married for over five years when she met Huizar at a bike show in 2015. The show was produced by her husband’s company, King BMX Stunt Shows.

Huizar pursued Swords over the next several months, according to an email that Joanne Foil, King’s attorney, wrote CNN. He even rented a room down the street from the King household and made sure that he was nearby in a hotel when the family went on trips.

King said that he became aware of the affair in 2015 after finding a number he did not recognize on his wife’s phone. After King confronted Huizar over the relationship, Huizar allegedly put King in a chokehold.

King provided call logs, hotel receipts, and social-media posts to the court as evidence of the illicit relationship.

According to CNN, most of the award consisted of punitive damages, but about $2.2 million of it was in compensatory, or tangible damages. Foil was able to demonstrate that King’s company lost revenue as a result of the infidelity of his wife.

But Huizar’s attorney, Cheri Patrick, claimed her client did not break up their marriage because it was already in decline. Patrick claims that King, who is 15 years older than his wife, was very domineering of Swords and controlled her access to money and would look through her phone. Patrick alleges that King put his wife to work for his company and didn’t pay her. He also reportedly demanded that she keep her hair blonde, and wear bikinis and high heels.

“Verdicts like these ignore the realities of how and why marriages fail, and remove personal responsibility for a person’s own marriage,” Patrick said. “There are no winners in these cases.” She also stated that Huizar plans to appeal the decision.

Alienation of affection laws exist in five other states: Hawaii, Mississippi, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Utah. However, the law is open to wide interpretation by judges and it can be difficult to prove, for example, that the married couple had no love between them when an affair started.

In 2011 in North Carolina, Betty Devin was ordered to pay $30 million to Carol Puryear, the ex-wife of Donald Puryear, after an extramarital affair.


Main photo: Francisco Huizar struggling with Keith King [Inside Edition/screenshot]

This entry was posted in Bad Behavior and tagged crimes of passion, laws. Bookmark the permalink.

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