Lo Blow: Wife Sues Neiman Marcus Over Husband’s Affair With Her “Personal Shopper” and $1.4 Million of Charges

Patricia Walker was no doubt flattered.  While many husband have to be pushed to bring even flowers on their wife’s birthday, Walker’s husband  Bobby Tennison showered her with gifts from Neiman Marcus — $1.4 million worth of gifts ($850,000 in 2009 alone).  Then Walker discovered that Tennison was having an affair with her “personal shopper” at Neiman.  Even the woman’s name seems to come out of a dime novel, Favi Lo.  It was a clever concept for an affair:  the wife gets a steady stream of gifts, the mistress gets commissions on the gifts, the husband gets the mistress. If true, it is like the Trade Triangle of Affair but instead of Molasses to Rum to Slaves, Tennison created Gifts to Commissions to Sex. Here is the really groovy part: Walker is suing Neiman Marcus.

What is particularly cunning is that the gifts from jewelry to glass sculptures to furs, were paid by Walker’s credit card. Normally, Walker would spend $100,000 a year at Neiman Marcus.

Walker says that Neiman “directly profited from Lo’s conduct and deceit.” She insists that, had she known, she would never have accepted the gifts and that the purchases therefore amounted to fraud.

It is hard to see how this would be a meritorious claim unless she is arguing that Neiman was knowingly running a stable of prostitutes like some retail pimp. For its part, Neiman Marcus simply says that customers may return, for credit, any items with which they “are not completely satisfied.” They should not be surprised to find a Robert “Bobby” Tennison, 65, tied up in a Neiman bag in the morning seeking a full refund.

As for Favi Lo, she is fortunate that this occurred in Texas which does not recognize alienation of affection as a tort. Texas Family Code 1.107 states, “A right of action by one spouse against a third party for alienation of affection is not authorized in this state.”

By the way, this is not the first tort action involving such allegations against Neiman Marcus in Dallas. In 1952, there was a New York case involving a claim of “group libel.” In Neiman-Marcus v. Lait, 13 FRD 311 (SDNY 1952), employees of that high-end store sued the author of a book titled “U.S.A. Confidential.” The book claimed that some of the models at the store and all of the saleswomen in the Dallas store were “call girls.” It further stated that most of the salesmen in the men’s department were “faggots.” The issue came down to the size of the group. With 382 saleswomen and models, the court found that the group was too large. However, with the 25 salesmen, the court found that an action could be maintained. That was before the fetching fetcher Favi Lo, of course.

On a final note. Sometime I just love the law.

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Can_you_sue_for_alienation_of_affection_in_Texas#ixzz1wXZZuFp4

Source: Chronicle

37 thoughts on “Lo Blow: Wife Sues Neiman Marcus Over Husband’s Affair With Her “Personal Shopper” and $1.4 Million of Charges”

  1. Ya know, it seems to me that once the impulse to murder him had passed the smart thing to do (and the evil thing, if it’s actually her card but his payment) would be for the wife and mistress to exploit a natural alliance- buy, buy, buy!

  2. It could be worse. Several years ago there was a dentist couple in Dallas. They were both experts in their field.

    The guy dentist was having an affair with his assistant. The lady dentist caught them at a hotel and ran over her husband in the parking lot several times with her Denali SUV.

    Then she jumped out of her SUV, hugged her almost dead husband, and and said “honey, are you okay?”

  3. Perhaps Bobby Tennison could claim that he had converted to Mormonism and just hadn’t gotten around to telling his first wife, Patricia Walker, about the new sister wife, Favi Lo, that he planned to bring home with him as another expensive present from Neiman Marcus.

  4. I’m sad that in my life I’ve never had to deal with issues like that, or have ever been able to shop in Nieman-Marcus.

  5. Tony, Your scenario is a possibility. Certainly the marriage had problems but that doesn’t mean that the wife knew it, after all he was giving her expensive gifts. But maybe that should have been her clue. In any case, his adultery was a serious betrayal that invites retaliation. As for his paramour, she is no innocent. She is either a fool or an egotistical cynic. Or maybe it was just a straight business deal. I still like my solution of hitting the pocket books of the betraying spouse and his partner-in-betrayal. It’s more likely to be successful than suing the store. Although suing the store is not exactly the kind of pr they want unless they are looking for more men to betray their wives in similar fashion.

  6. @bettykath: Yeah, I don’t know what NM commissions are; but this is not the first time I have heard of this type of behavior. In two stories I have heard in the past, both times it was the male buyer that proposed a “date” to clinch the deal, not the female sales clerk on commission.

    I think it is possible this wife is mis-directing her anger; I doubt the personal shopper initiated this scheme (although she may have enforced it and not been a free mistress). If the man initiated I do not assign much blame on her part either, a married man that propositions a woman is already IN a broken marriage, agreeing to a tryst at that point is not equivalent to seducing an otherwise faithful man into ruining his marriage.

  7. Tony, thanks. Seems that the easier route for betrayed wife would be to return all items for which the personal shopper received commission then hire a good divorce lawyer who will drag the proceedings out as long as possible.

  8. @bettykath: Typically commissions would be lost if the sales do not stick; that is how commission sales work; the company doesn’t want to be taken for a ride (imagine an accomplice buys a piece, and after the commission is paid, returns it for a full refund, and the salesperson and accomplice split the commission).

    I have also seen a sales protocol in which commissions are withheld for three months; so if the sale gets undone after that, the buyer is charged a “restocking fee” or something that at least covers the commission. If the sale is undone before that, no commission is ever paid.

  9. In Texas they say that a wife should be suspicious if her husband all of a sudden starts showering her with expensive presents. It’s a possible sign of adultery.This woman’s antennae should have been vibrating. A stupid case against Neiman Marcus. I guess this woman thinks she needs to lash out at someone. I hope her lawyer has a huge retainer.

  10. I’m going to sign Tex up for at this stage in our lives I’m with Gracie Allen, “I wish George would cheat again. I really need a new centerpiece.”

  11. All I know is I never got that kind of service. What does a guy have to do around here anyway? Can I see the manager, please?

  12. It is a tough life that this is what these two people have to argue about. I would suggest that these aristocrat’s money be taken away and let them see what the real world is like. Disgusting.

  13. I thought “low blow” was only in the men’s department…….

  14. I feel Walker’s pain.

    Like her, I would never notice $1.4 Million of charges on my own credit card over a year.
    I would naturally assume that all the prezzies from hubby were paid for out of his card.

    In these circumstances, I would expect stores to be informing me directly of what charges were on my credit card. How the hell else would I be able to know?

  15. Yeah, can’t see how Needless Markup is guilty of anything here. I could see her returning the gifts but imagine some of them are no longer in like new condition. But I think NM would look the other way as a goodwill gesture. Maybe she just wants the cash to hire a great lawyer for the divorce to follow.

Comments are closed.