What’s with all the greedy old men?

Sixty-one year old Peter Frampton has filed for divorce from his 3rd wife, Christina Elfers. The couple separated on New Year ’s Eve 2010 after being married for 15 years.  Frampton’s filing grants custodial custody of their teenaged daughter to her mother and requests joint rights of legal custody.  The cause of the breakdown of the marriage is cited as “irretrievable breakdown.”  All very clean and neat.

Until you do a little background research on Peter Frampton. According to the Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/natalie-pace/peter-frampton-lost-at-lo_b_884214.html, Frampton’s three divorces are not what has put him in the legal history books for the state of New York, it was his successful suit to prevent having to pay palimony to former live-in girlfriend Penny McCall in the 1970s.

The case, McCall v Frampton, filed in New York Supreme Court, WestchesterCounty, 415 N.Y.S.2nd 752, states:  “McCall (plaintiff) sues Frampton (defendant) for damages and real property pursuant to the alleged breach of an oral contract. The plaintiff claims that acting on representations made by the defendant; the plaintiff left her husband, lived with the defendant, and devoted all her resources, time, and effort to the promotion and success of the defendant in his endeavors. The defendant moves herein to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint.”

Frampton won that suit, despite evidence of his entire rock-star persona, and thereby some of the success of his breakout album “Frampton Comes Alive” was a direct result of McCall’s work on his behalf.

Meanwhile, 81 year old Buzz Aldrin is being sued by his 3rd wife and her daughter after he filed for divorce last week. http://www.tmz.com/2011/06/20/buzz-aldrin-lawsuit-starbuzz-company-unfair-business-practice-breach-of-contract-divorce-wife-lois-driggs-cannon-stepdaughter-assets/ Documents presented in this suit claim that Aldrin’s career had reached a standstill when he met Lois Driggs. She and her daughter, a Stanford graduate, began a business selling Buzz Aldrin paraphernalia and rehabilitating his career as a media star. According to msnbc: “in better times the astronaut credited her with helping him through his struggle with alcoholism and depression.” http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/06/17/6882767-buzz-aldrin-breaks-up-with-third-wife

Since filing for divorce from Driggs, after 23 years of marriage, he has frozen all of the company assets, claiming that she and her daughter no longer have the right to make living from the company they helped him found.

So here we are again – a celebrity who ignores other people who have helped him gain his success. Except that, in these cases, there is also the romantic interpersonal aspect, not just a business venture, to these relationships.  Where a “normal” person might look at this as an opportunity to be generous, recognize that McCall and Driggs were not only critical for financial success and stardom, but also someone with whom they were in love and take the opportunity to be gracious and generous. These celebs have used it as an opportunity to be even greedier, lumping the romantic break-up and the business relationship into one messy ending.

What We Love:  Aldrin and Frampton, it turns out, might both be jerks.  In a country in which divorce is every person’s legal right, no one has to stay married to a jerk.  Whether married 15 years or 23, these women have the right to move out and move on with their lives.

Published by Sharon Oberst DeFala

Sharon Oberst DeFala has practiced low-impact safe divorce since 1992.

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