Wife Tried Suing Gay Husband for More Than Half a Mil

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Friday November 1, 2019

Just what does it cost a gay man, and the woman he marries in a futile attempt to be, or least pass as, straight?

In purely monetary terms, consider this: $600,000.

That's the equivalent to the nine million rands that a Capetown, South Africa woman sought when she found out, just before her sixth wedding anniversary, that her husband was a closeted gay man, reports South African news site the Times. Of that sum, the woman sought five million for emotional distress.

The Times reported that the judge in the case, Mark Sher, declared:

"The basis for the damages claim and the extraordinary sums which are sought ... is that the [husband] is alleged to have 'misrepresented' to her, prior to their marriage, that he was a heterosexual male who wished to marry her so that they could have children in a heterosexual, monogamous marriage."

Whatever the merits of a claim made on that basis, however, the judge found that the way the woman's attorney went about making her claim amounted to a "wide-ranging and egregious abuse of process," the Times noted.

The suit detailed private communications the husband had made using WhatsApp and confiding in a priest, media sources said.

Though marriage equality had been legal in South Africa since 2006, and the rights of non-heterosexuals are constitutionally protected in that nation, a high degree of social animosity against LGBTQs persists there.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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