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Video: Bride of jilted groom: I don’t owe him money

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    >>> back now at 7:49 with a woman who is being sued for tens of thousands of dollars by her former fiance after she called off her engagement. well, now she's speaking out, and natalie's joining us with the story. hey, natalie.

    >> hey, ann. that's right. this morning the lawsuit was filed in new york by a man who claims he was in the middle of planning a dream wedding when last month his ex-fiancee broke things off. he says it cost him plenty, and now he wants her to pay her fair share .

    >> reporter: the lawsuit made headlines here in new york . steven silverstein claiming his former fiancee, kendra, needs to settle up with him. he says she left for a california vacation last month only to break off their engagement ten days later.

    >> i'm just your normal girl who just fell out of love with somebody, and i didn't feel like it was right in my heart. i didn't want to get married anymore, so i broke it off.

    >> reporter: nbc news spoke to her in san diego .

    >> i just don't picture myself in new york . i'm a california girl.

    >> reporter: while she wouldn't talk about the details of silverstein 's lawsuit, she made one thing perfectly clear.

    >> i don't think i owe him any money at all.

    >> reporter: but according to the lawsuit, silverstein says her share of the lost deposits is $2,975, covering everything from music and entertainment, the deejay, wedding filmmakers and furniture rental. the suit claims she owes another $13,000-plus for her share of damages owed to wedding vendors.

    >> i can understand why he's emotional about it. you know, we started planning a wedding, and it was really over the top . it was nothing that i wanted, nothing that i could ever afford for myself. i just wanted a small wedding, that's all, and it was just too much for me.

    >> reporter: according to the lawsuit, she withdrew more than $54,000 from a joint account she had with silverstein on the day she broke up with him, but he said she owtook more than her share and owes $19,000.

    >> i'm not a golddigger.

    >> reporter: add on another $25,000 plus for the rent while she lived together in new york . he claims he paid it all, and it was in the nature of a gift to defendant in contemplation of their impending marriage.

    >> i'm just your average american girl who's college educated. i did work at hooters in college to take my way through school. i was a flight attendant. and i've had some great jobs after that.

    >> reporter: at the center of the lawsuit, a $32,000 engagement ring .

    >> i returned the engagement ring he gave to me.

    >> reporter: but according to the suit, the fact that she returned the ring shows she knows the conditioned nature of all gifts given to her by plaintiff in contemplation of marriage.

    >> i just wanted to break up with somebody and move on, and turned out that he just wants to drag this out.

    >> and nbc news reached out to silverstein and his attorney, but they had no comment beyond their lawsuit.

    >> all right.

    >> you guys have any comment in.

    >> just real quickly. how do the ladies feel about this? does she owe him money?

    >> it sounds like she owes him some money.

    >> well, she gave back the wedding ring . you know, i think the professionals are going to weigh in on this, right?

    >> we want you to weigh in on our website. we'll tell you the results of

TODAY contributor
updated 5/24/2012 7:20:37 AM ET 2012-05-24T11:20:37

After his ex-fiancée jilted him before they reached the altar, a Manhattan man made his own vow: I sue.

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Consulting firm executive Steven Silverstein, 29, filed a lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court Tuesday seeking a court ruling to make former fiancée Kendra Platt-Lee pay him back for costs related to their planned wedding and her portion of the rent from two apartments the couple shared over the course of their relationship.

Video: Bride of jilted groom: I don’t owe him money (on this page)

“I don’t think that I owe him any money at all,’’ Platt-Lee told NBC News from her home in San Diego. “I’m just your normal girl who fell out of love with somebody, and I didn’t feel it was right in my heart. I just didn’t feel I wanted to get married anymore so I broke it off. I just wanted to break up with somebody and move on, and it turned out that he just wants to drag this out.’’

Silverstein and his attorney declined any comment beyond the lawsuit.

The couple, in happier times.

Story: Left at the altar, he traveled the world

Platt-Lee broke off the engagement over the phone in April, and returned a $32,000 ring given to her by Silverstein on May 10, according to court documents. However, Silverstein is looking to recover his ex's share of the cost of the now-scrapped wedding for 150 guests on Sept. 22 at the Allegria Hotel in Long Beach, N.Y. In addition to the hotel rental, the fees also include a DJ, a wedding photographer, a videographer and furniture rental totaling $25,668.

“I can understand why he’s emotional about it,’’ Platt-Lee said. “We started planning a wedding, and it was really over the top. It was nothing that I wanted, nothing that I could ever afford by myself. If it were up to me I would just want a small little wedding, that’s all. It’s just too much for me.’’

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On April, 13, Platt-Lee left Manhattan for California for what was supposed to be “a one week visit,’’ but never came back. She broke up with Silverstein over the phone 10 days later, according to court documents. She lives in San Diego now, where she works in marketing.

“I just don’t picture myself in New York,’’ she said. “I’m a California girl.”

Silverstein claims that on April 23, immediately after ending the relationship, Platt-Lee withdrew $54,367.87 from the couple’s joint account. Silverstein maintains that $19,269.90 of that money is his, and he wants it back.

“I’m definitely not a gold-digger,’’ she said. “I’ve worked hard for everything I’ve ever owned. I’m just your average American girl who’s college-educated. I did work at Hooters in college to pay my way through school. I was a flight attendant, and I’ve had some great jobs after that.’’

Silverstein also claims that Platt-Lee owes him $8,433.75 for her half of the rent for the six months they lived together in an Upper East Side apartment during their first engagement in 2009.

After the two broke up in February 2010, they rekindled in May 2011 and got engaged again a month later, according to the lawsuit. Again, Silverstein claims he picked up the tab for their apartment, and now wants $17,235 back for the rent he paid over nine months for the second apartment.

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