LAS VEGAS (CN) – Magician-illusionist Criss Angel and his companies owe his ex-fiancée for devoting eight years of her life to him and leaving her broke, she claims in court.
Sandra Gonzalez sued Angel (Christopher Nicholas Sarantakos) and three of his companies on Tuesday in Clark County Court.
Among her claims is that their relationship ended at Christmas 2014 when Angel got another woman pregnant and gave his new woman a 5-carat, $300,000 diamond ring that he had given to Gonzalez.
Gonzalez says the lawsuit is “based upon Angel’s demand Sandra forego all other professional and educational opportunities to exclusively collaborate with Angel in Advancing his own career during the course of an eight-year romantic and professional partnership.”
She says she made “personal sacrifices and contributions” that resulted in “substantial growth to the partnership’s businesses,” including co-defendants Angel Productions Worldwide, Magic Factory and MPOA.
“Throughout the partnership, Sandra relied solely upon Angel’s financial assistance and support and played an intimate and fundamental role in the daily management of Angel’s business operations,” the complaint states. She says her work “facilitated the development of several business ventures, which Angel now claims as his own.”
Gonzalez says Angel and his businesses owe her for her sacrifices, but Angel’s attorney Christopher Tayback, with Quinn, Emanuel, Urquhart & Sullivan, disagrees.
“This is a shameless attempt to shake down money from Criss Angel. The claims in the complaint are beyond ludicrous,” Tayback said in an emailed statement.
“We will vigorously contest any notion that Ms. Gonzalez contributed to Criss’ career. Criss was extremely successful long before he ever met Ms. Gonzalez and was very generous to her and her family throughout their relationship.”
Gonzalez says she was 18 when she met Angel, in 2007, during the filming of an episode of Angel’s “Mindfreak” television show. She says they started dating in June 2007 and she moved into Angel’s home within a year.
“Angel regularly confirmed the seriousness of his intentions to spend his life with plaintiff Sandra both as a business partner and a wife by ensuring she attend all of Angel’s family and personal vacations during the partnership, wherein Angel frequently held plaintiff out as his spouse to the media and the public at large,” the complaint states.
Angel proposed marriage to her on Sept. 7, 2011 and she accepted, and he gave her a 5-carat princess-cut diamond ring worth $300,000 that Angel helped New York jeweler Idayne Kaye design for her, according to the complaint.
After their relationship ended on Christmas 2014, Gonzalez says, Angel reneged on an implied agreement to care for her financially. He also refused her requests to give back her ring, and gave it to his new wife, she says.
A source close to Angel said he and Gonzalez broke up and reconciled several times and no longer were seeing each other or engaged when Angel conceived a child with his new girlfriend.
The source said Gonzalez ended their engagement in early 2014 by throwing her engagement ring at Angel and declaring the engagement was off, and that Angel provided ample financial support to Gonzalez and her family members, some of whom Angel put on the company payroll.
Angel, 48, one of the most successful magicians of all time, was named Magician of the Century in 2010 and Magician of the Decade in 2009 by the International Magicians Society.
He has starred in the “Criss Angel Mindfreak” television and stage shows, collaborated with Cirque du Soleil to create the Criss Angel Believe show at the Luxor casino in Las Vegas, and has an estimated net worth of between $30 million and $50 million.
Gonzalez seeks compensatory and exemplary damages for conversion, unjust enrichment, detrimental reliance, and breaches of fiduciary duty, confidential relationship and implied-in-fact contract.
Her attorney Matthew Callister was not available by telephone on Wednesday.
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