Claiming DNA proof, socialite wants husband to pay for cheating
By Jessica Su
(Court TV) -- When a West Palm Beach, Florida, socialite suspected her husband was cheating on her, she sought proof and payback.
During a 1999 visit to her summer home in Woodstock, Vermont, Nanette Sexton Bailey, 60, says she found a lace nightgown, brown hair, a toothbrush and stains on the bedsheets -- all of which were not hers.
Bailey, a blonde, kept the blemished sheet and claims a DNA test confirmed that another woman was in her husband's bed.
She filed for divorce in 2000 and claims she deserves $16,000 a month for life, thanks to a "bad boy" clause in a prenuptial agreement.
Her husband, Richard Bailey, 78, claims he has Alzheimer's disease and was mentally incompetent when he signed the agreement.
A judge in the Palm Beach County Circuit Court is deciding if the clause is enforceable. If he rules in favor of Nanette Bailey, a second trial will determine whether Richard Bailey cheated on his wife before she receives payment.
The Baileys married in September 1993 in New Hampshire. Richard Bailey, reportedly worth $11 million, was the CEO of Massachusetts Financial Services, America's oldest mutual fund company.
Nanette Bailey also had an impressive pedigree: The horse enthusiast was a great-niece of sculptor Alexander Calder and held a doctorate in art history.
However, marital troubles lurked beneath the glamour. The marriage was Richard Bailey's fourth and Nanette's third.
According to the divorce filing, Richard Bailey committed adultery after January 1999, when he and his wife signed an amended prenuptial contract, which added the "bad boy" clause to their original agreement they signed on their wedding day.
According to the clause, Richard Bailey would financially compensate his wife if he cheated on her, deserted her or physically abused her.
In addition to the DNA test, which marked the first adultery case in history based on genetic evidence, Nanette Bailey hired a private investigator to monitor her husband.
The detective discovered that Richard Bailey met with his third wife, Anita, several times between July and December 1999, according to People magazine.
Although the prenuptial agreement would grant Nanette Bailey millions, her lawyer, Ann Porath, said infidelity, not money, sparked the Baileys' pending divorce.
"She didn't want to divorce him," Porath said. "They didn't have a five-minute marriage. I think they were very compatible."
Furthermore, Nanette Bailey doubted that her husband suffered memory loss from Alzheimer's disease.
"Alzheimer's is never definitively diagnosed until someone dies and there's an autopsy," Porath said.
Richard Bailey's lawyer, Jeffrey Fisher, claims Nanette Bailey took advantage of her husband's mental state and tricked him into signing the amended clause.
"She had him sign a prenuptial agreement when she knew he was mentally incompetent," Fisher said. "It's sad and it's abusive. Money motivates a lot of people."
"He was taken by his wife to a neurologist in February 1997 with profound memory loss," Fisher said. "Alzheimer's is a degenerative disease. If it was bad enough in 1997 that she took him to see a neurologist, imagine how bad it is now."
"This was a setup that was carefully constructed and manufactured by Ms. Bailey," Fisher said. "She didn't let him send the amended agreement to his lawyer. She made him sign it in front of a notary who was a friend of hers."
Though law requires two witnesses during the signing, none were present, Fisher claims.
"The space for other witnesses to sign was whited out," he said.
In addition, the DNA evidence that Nanette Bailey was banking on never existed, according to Fisher.
"They claim that they found some sheets that were sent to a lab. The test was never done. The lab doesn't exist anymore," Fisher said. "If there's a DNA report, it doesn't identify whose DNA was on it. It could be a housekeeper. It could be a pet."
Furthermore, Richard Bailey did not offer an explanation for his alleged affair because of his mental state, according to Fisher.
"He can't admit or deny anything. It's like asking your 88-year-old grandmother what she ate for lunch three days ago," Fisher said. "He could tell you that he's just watched 'Star Trek,' and it hasn't been on for 20 years."
The trial is expected to last three days.