A woman in Cape Town, South Africa, attempted to sue her husband for R9million (approx. $600,000) after discovering he is gay. The pair had been married for just under six years when he came out to her.
Times Live reports the unnamed woman applied to the Cape Town High Court for R5million ($331,000) to compensate for her emotional pain and psychological trauma. She wanted a further R4million ($266,000) for loss of income and “financial prejudice.”
To back up her claim, her attorney, Fareed Moosa, submitted a 368-page Rule 43 application. This is a legal attempt to obtain money for maintenance ahead of a divorce settlement being agreed upon.
The lengthy document explained the husband’s coming out process, “in the finest and most intimate detail” according to judge Mark Sher – who no doubt had to read the entire 368 pages.
It included reports of his private internet browsing history and private communications with others – including WhatsApp messages with a local priest.
The judge criticized the document, which he said had included everything but “the proverbial kitchen sink” and, in his eyes, constituted an abuse of process.
“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,” said judge Sher in his judgment on Wednesday.
However, the judge was left unimpressed. Not only did he dismiss the case, but he ordered the woman’s attorney to forfeit his fees and pay the husband’s costs.
He blasted the attorney for including so much personal information in the application.
“Publication of this material could be said to constitute an unjustified breach of [the husband’s] right to privacy, if not that of [the wife] herself … All of this material is clearly devoid of relevance.”
The attorney, Moosa, says he is applying for leave to appeal the judgment.