Woman Says Private Eye Saw Too Much
RICHMOND, Va. (CN) - An estranged wife sued a private detective agency, claiming it trespassed to film her and her boyfriend having "an intimate encounter," and gave the video to her husband.
Catherine Williams and Gregg Marsh sued The Agency Private Detectives in Federal Court. They claim its agent violated Virginia law by entering Williams' property to get video footage of the couple's private encounter.
Williams claims that her estranged husband, nonparty Brady O'Hanlon hired The Agency, in violation of their separation agreement, in which he promised that he "would not 'molest or interfere'" with her.
She claims The Agency's employee William Cline staked out and trespassed on her property on Aug. 8, 2012.
Cline is not named as an individual defendant, though he is named in the complaint.
"On information and belief, Cline contacted personnel at The Agency prior to 10:12 p.m. and told those personnel at The Agency that he could not see Williams inside her house," the lawsuit states.
"Upon receiving that report from Cline, the personnel at The Agency told Cline to go around behind the back of Williams' house and video inside the house through a window.
Cline then trespassed onto her property to videotape "the encounter" from "outside a window that provided a visual sight line into Williams' living room," the complaint states.
Williams and Marsh claim that say Cline's trespass constitutes an illegal search of their persons and of Williams' home.
"Cline's videotaping an intimate encounter between Williams and Marsh, in Williams' home where her expectation of privacy is at its highest, was outrageous and intolerable," the complaint states. "The Agency's distributing the resulting video and Field Report describing the video to Williams' estranged husband was outrageous and intolerable."
The couple seeks $50 million in damages for illegal search, trespass, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
They are represented by Michael Donner, with Dunton, Simmons & Dunton, in White Stone, Va.