Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hell Hath No Fury

Every time I see a semi-significant news story with “YouTube” in the title I know the shit’s about to hit the fan. However, in today’s story of the moment, I was wrong. The shit already hit the fan, sprayed around the room, and hit everyone in the room; there’s a bit of it melting on the speeding fan blades and it’s about to go flying off in the distance.

Enter the story of a duplicitous, conniving shrew named Tricia Walsh. This lass, a former Broadway actress and playwright, married Philip Smith in 1999. Philip Smith is the head of the Shubert Organization, which – if the words “Schubert Theater” don’t strike a chord for you – is the largest Broadway theater entity in New York City. If that isn’t clearing things up, suffice to say Mr. Smith is pretty well-to-do.

Subsequently, Ms. “Walsh-Smith” and her husband apparently achieved something less than marital bliss. As a result, this past week, the judge in their divorce case granted Mr. Smith’s petition for divorce. So what’s the big deal? Why has this story of love-gone-bad landed here?

Ms. Walsh, while she was still Ms. “Walsh-Smith,” decided to take her displeasure with her then-husband public, so she opted to make a few YouTube videos. Among them, the preliminary video has garnered over 3,000,000 hits (and we can expect lots more after I’ve linked it here). In said video (as well as in the follow-ups), she bemoans and discusses their sex life (a lack thereof), belittles her in-laws, and then calls Mr. Smith’s secretary and discusses their non-existent sex life with the secretary.

The rationale – if one can even use the word appropriately in this particular case – is that Ms. Walsh was upset because the prenuptial agreement she and her ex-husband signed three weeks before they married stipulates that upon their divorce, he will give her $750,000 and she must vacate the couples’ residences. That means she has to take the $750k and get the fuck out of their Park Avenue digs.

Apparently, she opted to challenge this agreement by taking her case to YouTube. Unfortunately, by going out of her way to taunt, insult and belittle her husband so publicly, the judge was appalled and granted Mr. Smith’s petition. Assuming she takes her case to YouTube yet again, I expect Mr. Smith will bury her legally for defamation of character (especially if she opts to discuss his sexual prowess). However, the interesting twist to this particular story is that Raoul Felder, a notable divorce lawyer, has been representing Ms. Walsh since she became a YouTube star (she has ceased making any further videos since Mr. Felder came on board).

Inasmuch as this story, on its surface, is comical and entertaining, it’s somewhat disconcerting. I’m not sure of the ages of Mr. Smith and Ms. Walsh, but it seemed to be pretty clear that Ms. Walsh wasn’t in it for the romance, if you know what I mean. He looks like he’s her father, if not her grandfather. And I’m sure that multimillionaires marry women that make good impressions. She might be a great Canasta partner, but if she’s not a supermodel or doesn’t, at the very least, dazzle in an evening gown, she can go back to 11th Grade and take the SAT’s with her fellow high-schoolers.

The point is: the prenuptial agreement they both signed, I’m sure, is ironclad, so despite the mouthpiece (ie Mr. Felder) and his various strategem, it’s likely Ms. Walsh will see little, if any, benefit to Mr. Felder’s involvement (other than the ultimate achievement of continually belittling her ex-husband publicly).

I suppose my point, other than sharing a good chuckle over this disingenuous situation, is that if you feel you need a prenuptial agreement with your spouse, you’re wrong. You simply shouldn’t marry him or her in the first place. If you have reservations or concerns, you shouldn’t be considering marriage; if you’re willing to overlook the obvious facts – that your spouse-to-be is a raving, money-grubbing bitch, a psychotic two-faced she-devil, or, as was in my case, a pathetic, OCD-riddled, dishonest, clinical freak – you lie in the bed you make. In my case, I got lucky – her parents were even more fucked up than she was and they did me a huge favor by demonstrating how big a mistake I was making getting involved with that whole, fucked-up clan in the first place. Imagine if I hadn’t seen the writing on the wall sooner?

But I digress.

The point of the matter, in no uncertain terms, is there are far too many marriages that end in divorce because people plough ahead without thought. You can have a tattoo removed with lasers, you can have a vasectomy reversed, you can replace a car that’s been totaled in an accident and you can get divorced if the former object of your affection turns into the current object of your hatred. The best way to not have to go through these types of procedures in the first place is to use your head as much as your heart when dealing with these types of situations before the shit hits the fan and not once it’s been flung about the room.

Granted, my ex-fiancée never – to my knowledge – went on YouTube to bitch about me. Even if she did, no one would pay much attention to her anyway. More importantly, knowing I got out before it was too late is reward enough for me. However, as much as we, as public observers, watch this entire Smith-Walsh-YouTube saga unfold, we should learn from others’ mistakes, if not from our own:

Hell hath no fury like a woman with a YouTube account.

Here are some links for the Google-challenged...

Go here or here or here or here or here or here.

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