As you will see, it’s not all about the money in life: it’s about health, love, respect, happiness and then at some point about the money, which is the only thing that will survive all of us.
— Emel Dilek, the pulchritudinous plaintiff who is suing her former employer for breach of contract. Dilek was the mistress of the company’s former chief operating officer, who hired her; after he passed away, the company fired her.
(A closer look at this sexy plaintiff and her salacious suit, including some rather amusing deposition excerpts, after the jump.)
What’s a girl supposed to do? The mistress of a late luxury-auto dealer is suing his company to enforce a four-year employment contract…. And now, a judge has sided with brunette beauty Emel Dilek, saying that while the details behind her deal “are worthy of a made-for-television movie,” the agreement could still be binding.
Dilek, a 30-something from Germany, was hired to work at Mercedes-Benz of Greenwich shortly after she and the married part-owner, Ronald Pecunies, began shacking up in a Central Park South love nest in October 2005.
But she was canned from her $120,000-a-year post as “business development and marketing manager” following Pecunies’ May 2010 death from pancreatic cancer at the age of 80.
The defendant company — Watson Enterprises, Inc. (“WEI”), represented by Venable — raised various defenses to Dilek’s claims, including the argument that Ron Pecunies lacked the authority to bind WEI. The company also countersued Dilek for unjust enrichment and civil theft (based in part on allegations that she abused the company credit card). Sounds like a 1L Contracts case, no?
Dilek, represented by Akerman Senterfitt, moved for summary judgment, as did WEI. Judge Paul Oetken recently ruled on the motions, granting Dilek’s motion in several respects and denying WEI’s motion. Further proceedings will be required to determine whether WEI is liable under the contract and, if so, for how much.
Now, the promised deposition excerpts, from the summary judgment order. Here’s the first set. The background is that the deponent — Arthur “Kitt” Watson, head of Watson Enterprises — takes the position that Emel Dilek was on the company payroll simply because she was the girlfriend/mistress of his late business partner, Ronald Pecunies, and that Dilek provided no value to the company:
I’m reminded of this infamous deposition. “Was that a yes or a no?” “It was a RON’S GIRLFRIEND!!!”
This depo excerpt is even better:
So what kind of employment evaluation did Dilek receive with respect to that job responsibility? Meets Expectations? Exceeds Expectations?
Setting aside the legal merits, I’m rooting for Emel Dilek in this case. She reminds me of Lily Bart, Sister Carrie, and similar literary heroines — a young woman trying to make her way in the world with little else but her feminine wiles and her beauty. Beauty is a very valuable asset, but it’s a depreciating one. Will Emel Dilek be able to reduce her beauty to cold hard cash before it’s too late?
P.S. Dilek is already well on her way towards monetizing her looks. After Ron Pecunies died in 2007, she got a $1.7 million settlement to move out of their shared love nest. But will she get to hold on to that cash? The answer depends on additional litigation, filed by Ron Pecunies’s widow, Gertrude, which seeks to invalidate Pecunies’s pecuniary payments to Dilek.
Emel Dilek v. Watson Enteprises, Inc. [U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York]
Case of the Benz [New York Post]
30-something mistress fights 85-year-old widow for multi-million dollar estate [New York Daily News]