The taping of Hot Bench is over and the verdict had been reached.
Although it did not go 100% in my favor, it still goes into my "win" column nonetheless.
Three things were decided upon:
- The Engagement/Wedding Ring set.
- The cost of the boob job surgery.
- The $800 loan for legal fees for a child support action.
On the rings, she lied (no surprise) and said that we weren't engaged and that we were only "friends" to the three-judge panel, Tanya Acker, Patricia DiMango and Michael Corriero. Judge Acker seemed like she was going to "swallow" that story with Corriero somewhat wishy-washy, but he thought the rings were obviously wedding/engagement rings (blow-up photos of the rings were shown to the panel). DiMango didn't buy it at all. The way we got engaged was seen as "vague" in their eyes. But, ultimately, sufficient proof was provided that they decided this in my favor. Their ultimate verdict: return the rings (or the cash equivalent). The Defendant had the wedding ring portion with her and I was given it (Why didn't she give it to me months ago?) after the taping. The engagement portion is still "missing" and the show's legal department will determine the amount of compensation for that ring I will receive.
On May 18, we discussed the ending of the engagement and the rings. It is obvious what she lied on the show when she said we weren't engaged. She broke off the engagement, but was trying to claim we both did thinking that she could keep the rings if the ending were mutual. Under California law, the man gets the rings even if it were a mutual engagement ending. So she denied the engagement altogether.
Here's the May 18 text discussion:
As shown above, we discussed the rings and the breaking off of the engagement, yet she denied before the judge panel that we became engaged on January 25. Well, let's take another little stroll down "Memory Lane". That evening (January 25), we had a brief text discussion about me breaking the news of the engagement to my daughter Amber (who did not take the news very well, to put it mildly). I should have had it with me at the studio.
Here it is:
The boob job surgery was problematic as I had stated that they were intended as a wedding gift, albeit an early one. The judges felt that since they were a gift, although no wedding or marriage ever took place, it was still a gift in their eyes. Perhaps if I worded it "engagement-related", or specified that they were predicated on the basis of the engagement (and had evidence of that), it may have gone the other way. It is hard to say. It was "dicey" to include them from the start. I had offered to drop my claim on the surgery cost if the Defendant would help get Jackie Scott to pay the balance of the Hawaii front money (the case I recently won in Small Claims) back in May. But, my daughter Amber was against this offer and wanted me to sue for the cost of the surgery. Therefore, the offer was rescinded and I pursued it. As I offered to drop the surgery claim previously, I am not particularly bothered over the decision. It was a good try but it didn't pan out.
The legal fee loan. I loaned the Defendant $800 to pay for the legal cost of her child support action against the "baby daddy". This is the decision that I find annoying. The judges felt that the loan was a "gift" and not a loan and therefore let her off the hook. I fail to see the logic in their reasoning as when I did pay for the legal costs, I told the Defendant that she can reimburse me when she starts collecting child support.
Annoying as the legal cost loan decision was, it is mitigated by the fact that I will be receiving an appearance fee from the producers. That is only a few hundred dollars shy of the claim. As I always say, "Part of a loaf is better than no loaf at all." Had I gone directly to Small Claims Court, I would not be getting any appearance fee there. So it actually works out okay (almost a "wash").
One reason I did go the Hot Bench route, besides getting it all over with, was compassion. Had I won the actual claim amount of $10,000 in Small Claims Court, this would have hung over her like a sword for years. She has a young child. It is not his fault that he has the parents he has. How would she be able to support him in the coming years if a judgment of $10,000 were rendered? As the show will be paying the decided amounts, she can concentrate on supporting him. Unlike her, I have compassion in my heart for people. It's only money, I can sleep nights with a clear conscience. Narcissists have no empathy or compassion for others. She proved that again today.
As my "honorary sister" said:
I'm really sorry you are going through this. To have her completely mischaracterize your relationship that whole time is enough to send someone into shock. That she took this tactic is not surprising yet, but hurtful in the extreme to you.
You were right to say wedding gift. If the wedding gets called off, the packages are returned to the people giving them. If it was for an engagement, that could be more along the lines of a gift than for the wedding. They are a t.v. show out for ratings anyway. At least you recouped some money and can try to put her in the rear view mirror now. Dragging on is worse.I have a clear conscience over everything about the past year. Everything I said and did was sincere and honorable. I have no apologies to make. This is over and done with. It would be "hurtful" if she still meant anything to me now. She means very little to me, because if she did, the word loathing would come to mind. I hope she understands that, really understands that.
As President Nixon once said:
Don't get the idea you've aroused my anger. You see, one can only be angry with those he respects!
I followed this advice from my "honorary sister":
You don't want to come across as insulting, demeaning, or otherwise snarky or snide anyway. You are the wronged party and she is the scheming bitch. Putting her down is inconsistent with a man who loved her enough to try to give her the world, believing she loved him in return. Go get 'em!She was either lying with her characterization of our relationship or telling the truth. Either way, it is damning for her. Everyone knows that lying is bad. But if she were telling the truth, all she did was confess to the world that she was a scheming, conniving, little narcissistic golddigging user and not to be trusted. Without even meeting her, my daughter Amber had her all figured out. I wish I had listened to her back then. I guess I dodged a bullet.
I have read that some victims (men and women) of narcissistic abuse were driven to suicide. After this experience, it really doesn't surprise me.
She denied that she was ever "gushy" or "mushy" in her love expressions to me back at the time of our engagement. I mentioned a January  text exchange (I wish I had it with me as it would have proven we were more than "friends"). But here it is.
In a telling moment during the trial, Judge DiMango looked her straight in the eye and called her a golddigger. I think she said it like this: "I am going to come right out and say it. You're a golddigger!" She did not mince words with her. That is what the world will see and she will be cursed with that for the rest of her life. That will be a fitting curse for her: To be known to the world as a scheming, conniving, narcissistic golddigger.
Karma will get her in the end. I have absolutely no doubts about that.
An old friend, Glenn Draper, said this:
Just think--one day you can either sell or burn everything you have left over from this relationship. But--each and every time she looks down or in a mirror, she will be reminded of you. That's priceless...Yes, I'll be haunting her for the rest of her days.
In preparation for the taping, I had to get some make-up applied. It wasn't really that much, But, after a while, that stuff itched! I don't see how women can stand wearing make-up. I couldn't wait to get that stuff off!
The night's stay at the Westin Pasadena was enjoyable. The only problem was the shower did not have hot water to speak of. It was not even lukewarm. But I managed anyway. I told the front desk of this when I checked out and they waived all Wi-Fi charges.
The Independent Taxi Company did a good job in transporting me to and from the studio.