Text message to break off engagement costs man $50,000

50k parting ring text

Never ever send a text message when your emotions are on a high. Even if you think you know you’re ready to express how you feel, just don’t. Sleep on it. Don’t be like this guy named Louis J. Billittier Jr. who broke off his engagement over text. He dumped his fiancee by sending this SMS:

“Plus you get a $50,000 parting ring. Enough for a down payment on a house.”

As if calling off a wedding isn’t bad enough, talking to your fiancee about money isn’t a good idea. There is time for that and discussing the situation over text might do you harm instead——and cost you a lot of money. Why, Billittier’s text cost him $600 of each of the 90 characters but he used the word “parting ring”. The result? State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia said the woman was entitled to the ring.

What happened was, the ex-girlfriend refused to sign a pre-nuptial agreement. He broke off the engagement through text and asked if fiancée Christa M. Clark to give him the almost 3-carat ring. Of course, Clark refused so she was sued by her ex-fiance. He could have gotten the ring back but he said it was a “parting ring” worth $50,000—enough for a down payment on a house, according to him.

Louis J. Billittier Jr. also said before the court last November in a trial that it was only a joke. The judge ruled that his initial text was enough to give the ring to his former girlfriend even if he asked for it to be returned.

So you know how Billittier must be pissed off with the ruling. One emotional text cost him a lot of money. I wonder what the ex-fiancee would do with the ring or the money should she decide to sell it.

[via BGR, DailyNews]

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  • etim

    Sounds like fifty grand might be a small price to pay to be rid of that grubber. Think of the years of misery and expense he’d go through if he’d actually gone through with the wedding.

  • Ashraf

    [@Seamus McSeamus] [@Mags] This is from one of the source articles:

    “But after sending the text message on July 1 breaking off the engagement, Billittier also sent a follow-up text message. The 55-year-old Chef’s Restaurant co-owner wrote the words making it one of the most expensive text messages he will ever send: “Plus you get a $50,000 parting ring. Enough for a down payment on a house.”

    Buscaglia called Billittier’s description of the ring as a “parting ring” an indication the ring had become a gift that no longer involved a contract for marriage.

    Then on July 20, Billittier sent a text message threatening to take back the ring if Clark kept taking personal shots at him.

    “Keep it up, and I will take back the ring as well,” he texted her.

    Buscaglia called that text message further proof “the ring had been re-gifted.””

  • Mags

    [@Ashraf] Where do you get the harassment from?

    All it says is she refused to give the ring back! It doesn’t say anything about what was in the prenup or why she refused to sign it. That would have helped to understand this better if that info had been provided. It doesn’t say anything about her harassing him. Sounds more like he is the one doing the harassing. Not only that, but breaking off the engagement via text? That says coward!

  • Mags

    Guy proposes, girl accepts. Guy wants a prenup, girl refuses. Guy breaks off engagement.

    Background: Guy breaks off engagement. Girl gets to keep ring! Girl breaks off engagement. Girl has to give ring back.

    End of story Guy broke off engagement, therefore girl gets to keep ring. Doesn’t matter what he does to try to get it back!

  • Seamus McSeamus

    [@Ashraf] From the third paragraph, I took the order of events to be 1) refusal of pre-nup, 2) breakup text, 3) gimme my ring, 4) no way in hell, 5) lawsuit!, 6) text calling the ring a parting gift.

    It seemed to me like the breakup text was sent prior to the lawsuit, and then there was a second “parting gift” text sent concurrently with the lawsuit.

    With everything being communicated in one pre-lawsuit text, then I do feel a bit differently. What I said about not being able to know intent from a text holds for me, though, but it now works against the guy. While he may have meant the comment facetiously, it was open to interpretation. She may have *known* that he didn’t really mean for her to keep it, but was free to be vindictive since he didn’t explicitly say he was joking.

    End result? Sucks to be Louis J. Billittier Jr.

  • Ashraf

    [@Seamus McSeamus] I disagree. Reading the messages he sent, it looked very much like he gave the ring to the woman and then wanted to get it back after the woman harassed him continually.

  • Seamus McSeamus

    This is BS. There is absolutely no way to discern intent from a text message. Besides which, if the guy was involved in an active suit to reclaim the ring, would that court case not supersede a text message? An active court case proves intent a hell of a lot better than a text message does.