Typically, adultery is mentioned as a cause for divorce, but in the state of North Carolina, it may be grounds for a lawsuit. Francisco Huizar III plans to appeal an order requiring him to pay $8.8 million to the husband of a woman he romantically pursued for 16 months. Despite the debate behind North Carolina’s arguably outdated alienation of affection laws, Keith King felt it necessary to take legal action against the man whom he points to as the catalyst for his shattered marriage to Danielle Swords.
In addition to alienation of affection, King also accused Huizar of assault and battery, intentionally causing emotional anguish, engaging in criminal conversation, and affecting the welfare of his business. Married only 5 years, Swords and King worked together at King’s company, King BMX Stunt Shows. At one of the company’s bike events in 2015, Swords met Huizar. As their relationship blossomed, King’s business took a hit in revenue and lost Swords as an employee. King attempted to save his marriage, so much so that his fight became physical. Huizar and King engaged in an altercation, one in which Huizar placed King in a chokehold. Struggling to salvage his marriage to Swords, King complied evidence supporting the progression of the affair, including phone records, text messages, social media correspondence, and hotel receipts.
King’s attorney asked the judge for the full amount of his compensatory damages, $2.2 million, and three times that amount for punitive damages, resulting in the $8.8 million order. The judge agreed that based on the evidence provided, King and Swords were happily married until Huizar entered their lives. Huizar argued that King and Swords’ marriage was decaying, and his involvement with Swords did not directly contribute to the married couple’s ultimate separation. While there is no evidence to support Huizar’s claim, there is a stack of evidence to prove that Huizar showed a complete disregard for King’s marriage, as well as a lack of empathy for the harm he caused.