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Saturday, July 16, 2005

Wife sues man for loss of husband's love

A spurned wife in Durham, N.C., has sued her husband's male lover, accusing him of wooing away her husband. Pamela Lavone Putjenter alleges in a lawsuit filed in Durham superior court that Stephen Glenn Barefoot of Durham began to "willfully and intentionally seduce, entice, and alienate the affections" of her husband in January 2002.

She said her husband, Ronald Joseph Putjenter, eventually admitted to the alleged affair. As a result, the couple separated in March 2004, according to the lawsuit, which seeks compensatory and punitive damages of at least $10,000 each.

North Carolina is one of a handful of states that still allow scorned spouses to file lawsuits and collect monetary damages for alienation of affection and "criminal conversation," the term used in civil lawsuits to refer to sexual intercourse between a defendant and the plaintiff's spouse. Successful plaintiffs have won awards ranging from $1 to more than $1 million.

Alienation-of-affection lawsuits are rare, and same-sex complaints are even more obscure. Barefoot said Thursday that he knew nothing about the complaint against him. "It's news to me," he said. (AP)
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