It appears that the Connecticut Supreme Court has found a way to help spouses get rid of unsightly winkles in divorces. It ruled that the wife of wealthy skin and winkle cream doctor Nicholas V. Perricone may not speak of her divorce — forever. Thus, a private waiver signed before discovery is enforceable until death against Madeleine Perricone — presumably she is allowed to discuss the divorce in the afterlife as a matter beyond the jurisdiction of the court.
The court ruled that such waivers of free speech are “presumptively enforceable.” However, Madeleine insisted that the confidentiality agreement was signed before discovery for a limited purpose and that she never agreed or intended to be gagged for eternity.
Nicholas has made millions through Meriden “cosmeceuticals.” His lawyers went to court after Madeleine gave an interview to the New York Post and stated an intention to do an interview with the television news program “20/20.”
The confidentiality agreement was signed in 2003 and the divorce finalized in 2004.
Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers found that the waiver was “intelligent and voluntary” and thus enforceable.
Yet, the final divorce contained an “integration clause” that stated that it was the complete final settlement of their respective rights and superseded all prior written agreements between them.
The divorce was all the talk of the town with some astronomical figures, including Nicholas Perricone’s netting $457,000 per month from his company and royalties on patents and books. He claimed to need roughly $24,000 per month for travel and entertainment and Madeleine claimed to need $5,000 per month for just clothes for herself and her daughter. It is hard to feel sorry for anyone in this marriage, but the limitation of free speech is troubling when the agreement seemed a standard and limited discovery-related agreement.
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