Cubic Zirconias are a Boy’s Best Friend: Husband Wins Prenup Challenge After Disclosure that Engagement Ring is a Fake Diamond

Wen Louis Porreco married his ex-wife Susan Porreco, the Erie, Pa. auto dealer insisted that she sign a prenuptial agreement that guaranteed her only $3,500 for each year that they were married — a total of $50,000 (for ten years of marriage plus some other marital value). She claims, however, that she was counting on the fact that Louis had given her a fat a 4-carat marquis-cut diamond worth at least $21,000. It turns out worth pennies. It was cubic zirconia. After winning in the an action to set aside the agreement due to fraud (and potentially claim more than $1 million), Susan lost before the Superior Court that held that it was her duty to confirm the value of the ring.

Howard Bashman at How Appealing has been following this interesting case.

The Porreco married in August 1984. The interest in the ring is not its value but its ability to negate the agreement due to fraud. By setting aside the agreement, the estate would be divided under standard terms with roughly $1 million going to Susan. While they were divorced in 1988 and Louis (astonishingly) has found another woman to marry, the marital assets have not been distributed pending resolution. Louis is now 71 and married his current wife nine years ago.

Susan Porreco, 45, is selling real estate in Aiken, S.C.

The decision of a three-judge panel of the Superior Court decision overturned a 2006 decision by Erie County Judge Michael E. Dunlavey, who ruled for Susan.

Dunlavey voided the agreement due to fraud. However, the Superior Court found that the ring alone is not sufficient to undue the agreement despite the fact that it was list in the agreement as an asset of Susan Porreco. In a ruling that may be viewed as rather harsh under the circumstances, the court found that she had an obligation to have the ring appraised at the time and before signing the agreement. The court held that “Wife has a responsibility to be fully informed of her own financial condition and accurately disclose her position. While Husband may have been older, more sophisticated, better educated and financially more stable than Wife, this does not place upon him the burden of ensuring that Wife made a full and fair disclosure of assets. . . If Husband claimed to be worth more, Wife should have proposed to bargain for more.”
For his party Louis Porreco (who could not look worse in this litigation) insists that Susan knew the ring was a fake and that she wanted a fake ring so that she would not lose or damage a genuine diamond while working with her horses. Of course, that does not explain why she also didn’t get the real one or why the fake one was listed on the prenup.

For those now trying to remember the lyrics to Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend, they are below. I suppose the Court’s ruling is for women to pay greater attention to the advice at the end that rhinestones will simply not do . . .

The French were bred to die for love
They delight in fighting duels
But I prefer a man who lives
And gives expensive jewels
A kiss on the hand may be quite continental
But diamonds are a girl’s best friend
A kiss may be grand but it won’t pay the rental
On your humble flat, or help you at the automat
Men grow cold as girls grow old
And we all lose our charms in the end
But square cut or pear shaped
These rocks don’t lose their shape
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend

Tiffany’s, Cartier
Talk to me, Harry, Winston, tell me all about it
There may come a time when a lass needs a lawyer
But diamonds are a girl’s best friend

There may come a time when a hard boiled employer
Thinks your awful nice
But get that ice or else no dice
He’s your guy when stocks are high
But beware when the start to descend
It’s then that those louses go back to their spouses
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend
I’ve heard of affairs that are strictly platonic
But diamonds are a girl’s best friend
And I think affairs that you must keep liaisonic
Are better bets if little pets get big baggettes
Time rolls on and youth is gone
And you can’t straighten up when you bend
But stiff back or stiff knees
You stand straight at Tiffany’s

I don’t mean rhinestones
But Diamonds
Are A Girl’s Best Friend

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5 thoughts on “Cubic Zirconias are a Boy’s Best Friend: Husband Wins Prenup Challenge After Disclosure that Engagement Ring is a Fake Diamond”

  1. I hadn’t seen the Broadway production. But given my choice, I’ll still take a cubic zirconia over a diamond if I decide I want a pretty rock that sparkles. Heck, I can’t tell the difference between the two anyway; I only know that the CZ is cheaper. 🙂

  2. Truth be known, whatever philosophical value the song might have could be claimed not by Monroe but that other towering figure of philosophy Carol Channing (who originally sang the song in the Broadway production of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1949)).

  3. Oops. Sorry, J.T., I meant to cast NO aspersions on either the song or the lady herself. It was just MY personal feeling on how, all too often, we start to place too high a value on THINGS, rather than people. I hope you’ll accept my apology? 🙂

  4. Susan:

    I will attempt to forget that you are questioning the most famous (and only) philosophical contribution of Marilyn Monroe.

  5. J.T., thank you for publishing this story. I will go on record as saying that spending hard-earned money on a diamond as a symbol of love is, to quote Clarence Darrow, “a monument to the idiocy of man.” Which is hardly saying much!

    After all, what practical use IS a diamond, or any other “precious” jewel for that matter? Okay, it’s pretty, and it flashes. So what. You can’t use it to buy a home. Or buy food to feed a hungry family, until you sell it anyway. You can’t use it to buy needed clothing either. So when all is said and done, all a woman has, when wearing a diamond, is nothing more than a ROCK. Which is pretty darned cold, if she has nothing else. To the diamond industry I say, “keep your worthless rocks, gentlemen. Real love is worth far more.”

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