Jilted Bride Gets $50,000 From Former Fiancé for Breach Of Contract
A Georgia man is undecided about whether to challenge a state appeals court's decision that he must pay his jilted former fiancée $50,000, his lawyer says.
Accused of breach of promise to marry, part of his defense was that he never said the words "Will you marry me?" to her, the court filing states.
In December of 2004, Christopher Ned Kelley, gave Melissa Cooper a ring valued at about $10,000, a court document states; she accepted and the two moved to a new home. Since 2000, Kelly, had lived with Cooper, who also had a child with him. She says she left her job at his request to stay home and raise their child and her child from a previous relationship.
After the proposal, she learned that Kelley had been in a two-year relationship with another woman that began before the proposal. After Cooper confronted him, she agreed to stay with him "because of his pledges not to see the other woman again and his promises thereafter to marry Cooper," the court document states. But in April 2011, when Cooper confronted him about a relationship with yet another woman, he told her that he wanted to be with that woman and that Cooper and the children should move out.
"Cooper was 'devastated' by this development," and in response, she filed a lawsuit for a number of claims, including fraud and breach of contract to marry. The Coweta County Superior Court awarded her $43,500 and attorney fees of $6,500.
Kelley appealed the trial court's decision, claiming his promise to marry was part of a "meretricious relationship and therefore not enforceable," a court documents states. But the Court of Appeals of Georgia ruled on Nov. 22 to uphold the trial court's decision, saying the promise to marry is enforceable and the fact that the couple lived together before and after the marriage proposal is only collateral to the promise to marry.
Smith said his client plans to use part of the $50,000 judgment to purchase a home for she and her two children. She has primary physical custody over their child and he pays her child support.