A $20 million lawsuit by the ex-wife of Andrew “Flip” Filipowski, the owner of Silk Road Equity investment firm, against his alleged mistress has been settled for $107,500, an attorney in the case said Friday.
Veronica Filipowski had sued Melissa Oliver in Forsyth Superior Court under the alienation-of-affection law, alleging that Oliver’s affair with Flip Filipowski ruined their marriage. John Vermitsky, Oliver’s attorney, said Friday that Veronica Filipowski had sought upwards of $20 million in damages.
The two sides settled before Judge Stuart Albright of Forsyth Superior Court rendered a verdict last week in a non-jury trial in the case, Vermitsky said.
“We’re happy that this has been resolved,” Vermitsky said.
Gray Wilson, one of the attorneys for Veronica Filipowski, was out of the office Friday and could not be reached for comment.
Vermitsky said a voluntary dismissal will be entered later in the case.
The lawsuit was high profile for a number of reasons.
Oliver also filed a federal complaint in U.S. District Court in the Middle District of North Carolina, challenging North Carolina’s alienation-of-affection law. She also challenged the state law in the N.C. Court of Appeals, which ruled against her earlier this year.
Vermitsky had argued in state and federal courts that alienation of affection and criminal conversation laws violate a right to privacy because they try to regulate sexual activity. The alienation-of-affection law violates free speech because the law doesn’t require proof of sexual activity and could result in someone being sued for simply persuading a co-worker to leave a spouse, Vermitsky had argued.
Filipowski’s attorneys argued that a right to privacy does not extend to adultery and that the government has an interest in protecting marriage. The government, the attorneys argued, can pass laws regulating private sexual behavior of people who interfere in a marriage.
In her complaint, Filipowski said she and her husband were friends with Oliver and her husband for 10 years and lent them money to open the former Xia Asian Fusion Cuisine Restaurant on Spruce Street. They traveled together, and Oliver babysat the Filipowski’s daughter, the lawsuit said.
In October 2006, Veronica Filipowski discovered her husband was having an affair with Oliver after Oliver left a voice mail for Flip Filipowski, saying she loved and missed him. Veronica Filipowski claimed in the lawsuit that the affair broke up their marriage.
The lawsuit was also high profile because the pending divorce between Veronica and Flip Filipowski, former Winston-Salem Dash team owner, helped lead to the end of Flip Filipowski’s business relationship with Dash owner Billy Prim. Construction of the baseball stadium off Business 40 was delayed for months as Prim and Filipowski dissolved their business relationship.