A jilted Manhattan groom who is suing his ex-fiance for money related to a planned wedding and other costs claims he did not want it to come to this, but said he cannot let her walk away without paying up.
Consulting firm executive Steven Silverstein, 29, appeared on TODAY Friday alongside his attorney, Elliott Martin, to discuss a case that has made national headlines. He is suing former flame Kendra Platt-Lee for more than $61,000 related to the costs of a lavish wedding planned for September 22 that never came to fruition, as well as her share of the rent in two different apartments that the two shared during their relationship. The lawsuit, which was filed in Manhattan Supreme Court on Tuesday, also claims that Platt-Lee owes Silverstein $19,269.90 of the $54,367.87 from the couple’s joint account that she withdrew on April 23, the same day she broke up with him over the phone from San Diego.
No more Mr. Nice Guy
“I tried to be a nice guy for almost two weeks after she broke up with me,’’ Silverstein told Matt Lauer. “I didn’t want to have to go with a lawsuit. I tried to do that with her, and I was forced in another direction. I wouldn’t say (I’m) embarrassed. It’s just very hurtful. I never wanted any of this to go public, and I never meant for any of this to happen.’’
For her part, Platt-Lee told NBC News in an interview that aired on TODAY Thursday: “I don’t think that I owe him any money at all. 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.’’Story: Man sues ex-fiancée after she breaks off engagement
Silverstein admitted to still having some feelings toward Platt-Lee, but said there is no way he could see the two of them ever getting back together. He said they mutually broke up a previous engagement because they were both “immature’’ and not ready, and then Platt-Lee ended the second one, resulting in his lawsuit.
“There’s absolutely no way,’’ he said when Lauer asked about the possibility of the relationship rekindling. “Emotionally, I still care for her. I did think she was going to be the mother of my children, (and) I was going to go on a honeymoon. I don’t want to see anything bad happen to her after this is all settled. I hope we can both move on and hopefully find better people or whatever it is. I just think that I can’t let her walk away with all of these acts.’’
More from TODAY.com
Man behind 'Why I Don't Have a Girlfriend' theory to marry
Peter Backus got a lot of buzz a few years ago with a thesis about why he’d statistically never find love, but turns out h...
- Paralyzed pig Chris P. Bacon gets a book deal
- Who the Bluth are you?! Meet the 'Arrested' gang
- Amanda Bynes freed; says bong was 'a vase'
- Florida teen rejects plea deal in underage same-sex case
- Man behind 'Why I Don't Have a Girlfriend' theory to marry
Platt-Lee broke 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 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.’’
Silverstein’s position is that if Platt-Lee did not want a lavish wedding, then she would not have written an $8,000 check out of her own account to the hotel and signed the contract herself. He added that she also liked the Allegria Hotel’s location right on the beach because it had the feel of her hometown of San Diego.
“I think the proof is in the pudding,’’ Silverstein said. “If you can say you don’t want a big wedding, then why would you sign that contract?”
Silverstein also claims that Platt-Lee had visited a bridal salon just days before her trip to California during which she broke off the relationship.
“She goes to her second wedding dress fitting, which, mind you, was a $6,000 Pronovias dress, along with the Jimmy Choo shoes, I might add,’’ he told NBC News. “For a girl to say, ‘I want a small wedding,’ and yet buying a $6,000 wedding dress, it’s a little ridiculous.’’
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.
‘Nothing to do with revenge’
After the two broke up in February 2010, they reconciled 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.
The breakup turned ugly, and it took lawyers to broker an exchange of their property. Silverstein even put some of Platt-Lee’s personal items on eBay initially, but said that only to get her attention. None of the items was ever sold, and they have since been returned to her.
Silverstein claims he paid the full rent in the expectation that the two would be married, and insists that going after the rent money in addition to the wedding-related fees is not out of pure spite.Vote: Does jilted groom have a case against ex-fiancée? (on this page)
“This has nothing to do with revenge,’’ he said. “I informed my attorney that she was on the lease both times that we lived together and that she was very adamant about being on the lease because in her words, ‘It was our place.’ I said, ‘That’s not a problem because I love you, and we’re going to get married and eventually it’s going to be our money anyway.’’’
According to his attorney, Silverstein is legally entitled to recover that rent money under a statute that has been on the books in New York state for 50 years that covers transfers of money made with the expectation of marriage that would not have been made unless there was an expectation of marriage.
Silverstein appears to have the public on his side as far as the merit of his lawsuit is concerned. In a poll on TODAY.com, 66 percent of respondents voted that he has a legitimate case.
“I think it just shows the public understands that she did something wrong, she did something immoral, and she shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it,’’ Silverstein said.
More on TODAY.com:
Couple's wedding day crashed by NATO protesters
Video: Man spends $60K to get custody of dog
Video: Jilted boyfriend offers vacation on YouTube
30-second therapist: Why won’t he return my calls?
New York banker's date-rating spreadsheet goes viral
© 2013 NBCNews.com Reprints