The Wedding Plaintiff: New York Woman Sues Guest Over Wedding Outburst

000_sandrinaThis may make for a better movie than a torts case, but Sandrina Purdum, 31, alleges that Jennifer Angevine ruined her wedding in Queens, New York, by telling guests that she had been sleeping with her new husband, Harold Purdum, 31. She is alleging slander, infliction of emotion distress, and battery.

Angevine is accused of throwing a drink at one guest and jabbing the bride in the chest during the confrontation. Harold denies the affair.

The incident ruined more than the wedding. Sandrina refused to go home with her husband and returned to her parents while he bummed a couch with at his best man’s house. She is reported to have complained that she feels she cannot now have a baby “because I don’t trust my husband.”

Perhaps litigation will wipe away any lingering doubts and bring this loving couple back together. Of course, truth is a defense to slander. Thus, Angevine could seek to prove that an affair did occur. As for infliction of emotional distress, confirming the affair could greatly reduce the viability of that claim as well. There is no truth defense as in defamation but it is harder to claim an outrageous act in telling the truth in a boorish or rude way. However, if false, this does seems a malicious and outrageous act intended to ruin the wedding and the marriage. What is interesting is that the slander was directed at the husband, not the bride. She may argue that they are one person legally but that would be a rather novel (and rather ironic) claim. I am trying to find a copy of the complaint to determine if the couple has been re-joined legally as co-plaintiffs.

The case also raises an interesting aspect of slander per se. It could be argued that this fails into traditional categories of per se defamation involving moral turpitude and sexual misconduct. However, those categories are a bit dated. There was a time when (usually women) would routinely sue for statements questioning chastity. However, pre-marital sex is now quite common and the suggestion of being unchaste is not an obvious slander in most cases. Even at the height of this particular tort, men rarely sued. It is rare to see a slander case based on chastity leveled against a male. It reflects a certain sexism in the common law where men were expected to be a bit lascivious while women were expected to be chaste.

The battery claims appear based on the poking (since the guest does not appear to be part of the lawsuit).

The good news is that this lawsuit makes thousands of best men and maid-of-honors feel much better about their drunken toasts at the weddings of friends. In a blog dedicated to such disasters, the problem of speeches references affairs with one of the newly married couple appears to be a common problem.

For the full story, click here.

Kudos: Natasha-Christina Nadeem Akda

15 thoughts on “The Wedding Plaintiff: New York Woman Sues Guest Over Wedding Outburst”

  1. My best friend is dating this awful woman who had the nerve to ruin someone’s wedding (allegedly). She claims it never happened…I would like to believe that my best friend isn’t dating such an awful human being, but if he is I can no longer stand by his side and defend a lunatic who would attend a wedding and do such a horrific thing. Please someone help me out and clarify. Thank you!

  2. you b..tch are no good ..stop giving him drugs and alcohol..let him wake up to see what a beast you r..we love him,sorry you are a wilderbeast who sucked my brother in with your lies and influence with drugs…..

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  4. Mike,

    Some do, some don’t. I think it depends on who’s officiating and where the service is held. It seems like the few times I’ve heard it it’s been more at more traditional weddings.

  5. Do christian wedding services have that part I’ve always seen in movies where the audience is asked “to speak now if the union should not be joined, or forever hold your piece?” If it did than this woman was only following her part in the ritual and then her act couldn’t be a tort. If that isn’t used anymore, then of course the potential for drama at a wedding ceremony has lost something to modernity.

  6. Anon:

    I am not a lawyer so I was just curious, in my profession (engineer) we refer to the knee pads and silk handkerchiefs when dealing with an owner/client who is particularly recalcitrant.

  7. Bron98,

    Was the woman wearing a strap-on or doing a commercial for snap-on? I suppose. .. .

  8. “The battery claims appear based on the poking”

    I thought the “poking” was the provocation for the bride filing suit, I am all confused.

  9. This was the plot of an Ally McBeal episode.

    Ally told the wedding party she had slept with the groom.

    Since she felt she had no legal defense, her strategy was to get the loving couple back together.

    Life imitates art.

  10. What is interesting is this woman was also the mans boss. Oh yeah, oh yeah, don’t you know. I guess the man found out the hard way, you don’t shit where ya’s eat.

    With that said, Is this not a public disclosure of a private fact still a viable claim, media or not?

    Public Disclosure of Embarrassing Private Facts

    Public disclosure of private facts, one of the four common law invasion of privacy torts defined in the Restatement (Second) of Torts, is the publicizing of a private matter that would be highly offensive to a reasonable person and not of legitimate concern to the public. To win on such a claim, the plaintiff must prove that the media defendant’s statement:

    (1) Was highly offensive to a reasonable person
    (2) Contained private facts about the plaintiff’s life
    (3) Was a public disclosure of private facts, and
    (4) Was not of legitimate concern to others

    Media behaves poorly in these cases, but they almost never lose because the defenses are so strong.


    1. Newsworthiness. The information is of legitimate public concern. This is defined broadly by the courts.

    2. Consent.

    3. Information found in public records

    4. Doesn’t outrage community notions of decency. It’s not highly offensive to a reasonable person.

    5. Event took place in public. Is the Green vs New York Times standard still applicable?

    I just don’t know. I wonder if this was part of his job description? You know, service is the key to successful employer employee relationships. . . bada boom, bada bing

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