“Wedding wire” from an American woman
WASHINGTON — The American woman who says she was groomed and groomed for months by a British man who promised to give her a $1 million wedding ring was “blessed” by the man who arranged the ceremony, according to a court filing.
The woman, identified only as “Jane Doe,” filed suit against British businessman Paul Smith on March 13, alleging he groomed her for months, threatened to hurt her or her children if she didn’t sign a legal document and offered to pay her $1,000 to marry him.
Smith, who has not been named in the suit, did not respond to an email seeking comment.
Smith’s attorney, Mark Schuster, wrote in the lawsuit that the woman and her children were “disgusted” by Smith’s behavior and “felt they were betrayed by the defendant.”
In the court filing, Schuster said the woman’s “bizarre and bizarre situation with the defendant, and the many different ways in which the defendant had threatened, bullied and manipulated” her for years.
“She felt so vulnerable in the relationship that she thought she could not survive without this ring and had no choice but to make this legal claim,” he said.
“I have not seen any evidence that she was harmed by this ring.”
Smith and his attorney have not responded to a request for comment.
The lawsuit alleges that Smith groomed the woman, her daughter, her mother and their two daughters to become “spouses.”
The suit also alleges that the women were repeatedly told they were “too old” to marry and were repeatedly given a choice between marriage or adoption.
Smith “threatened to cause serious bodily injury” to the woman if she refused to sign the legal document, the lawsuit says.
In the end, the woman “signed a marriage license, but did not accept the marriage license as a legal marriage,” according to the suit.
The couple wed in January 2018 in the UK, and are expecting a child together.
The attorney’s office said the couple is not seeking financial damages.
The women were “not aware of any specific, concrete harm to the women by their alleged relationship with Smith,” the attorney’s filing said.
The U.K. Daily Mail reported on March 11 that Smith was married to the wife of an acquaintance at a private London boarding school.
The Daily Mail story quoted the woman as saying that her father “is an alcoholic and a sex offender” who had repeatedly sexually abused her as a child.
Smith was arrested in 2014 in the U.S. for raping two girls in Florida and sentenced to 30 years in prison.
The British couple met in 2010 in London, according the Daily Mail, and later married in 2014.
Smith is believed to be a British citizen who came to the U and worked in the entertainment industry.
The Mail said that the British man “has been living in the United States since his arrest in 2014 and is believed by British authorities to have been groomed by Smith.”
Smith, a former hedge fund manager, has been in jail since November 2016, when a jury convicted him on 13 counts of rape and aggravated kidnapping.
Smith also faces charges in the disappearance of two women, one in Michigan and one in Wisconsin, who vanished in December 2015 and were later found dead in their car.
The Associated Press reported last year that Smith, 57, was arrested last year in Chicago on charges of kidnapping and assault.
He pleaded not guilty.