he said, she said
That's HIS story. He claims he had a four-month affair, but never had sexual intercourse. He claims they only had oral sex three times.
HER story is entirely different:
Court: Unexpectant father can sue for distress, but she didn't steal sperm
CHICAGO - What happened between Dr. Richard O. Phillips and Dr. Sharon Irons six years ago is a "he said-she said" story.
Whatever happened - either oral sex or intercourse - led to both a baby and a suit.
The Illinois Appeals Court said earlier this week that Phillips can press a claim for emotional distress after learning Irons had used his sperm to have a baby. But he can't claim theft, the judges ruled, because the sperm were hers to keep.
Irons said Thursday in a telephone interview that she and Phillips had intercourse several times during their brief affair.
Phillips said in his suit that he and Irons never had intercourse, only oral sex. DNA tests showed Phillips was the baby's father, court papers state.
The ruling sends the case back to Cook County Circuit Court, where Phillips must try to prove his side of the story.
In his suit, Phillips accused Irons of "calculated, profound personal betrayal" of him six years ago.
He is representing himself in the case. Messages left at his office Thursday were not immediately returned.
Phillips alleges that he and Irons never had intercourse during their four-month tryst, although they did have oral sex three times. His suit contends that Irons, without his knowledge, kept some of his semen and used it to impregnate herself.
The relationship ended, the suit said, when Phillips learned Irons had lied to him about being recently divorced and was, in fact, still married to another doctor.
Irons told a different story Thursday. Not only did Phillips know she was still married during their affair, she said, he also knew she was pregnant with his child. He even watched her do several pregnancy tests, she said.
"He was very supportive and very happy about it," she said. "He said you need to hurry up and get your divorce." He promised to marry her and asked her to quit her job, she said.
But several days before her last day at work, Phillips informed her that he "couldn't go through with it," she said.
Phillips is a Chicago family doctor. Irons practices internal medicine in suburban Olympia Fields.
Nearly two years after their affair ended, Irons filed a paternity suit against Phillips. Phillips was ordered to pay $800 a month in child support, said Irons' attorney, Enrico Mirabelli.
Phillips then sued Irons, claiming her actions caused him nausea and headaches and robbed him of sleep and his appetite. He is haunted by "feelings of being trapped in a nightmare," court papers state.
Irons said Thursday that Phillips' lawsuit astounded her.
"I was already devastated by the fact he abandoned me," she said. "I just couldn't believe it. I read it. I put it down. I cried."
Irons' legal response was that her alleged actions weren't "truly extreme and outrageous" and that Phillips' pain wasn't bad enough to merit a lawsuit. The circuit court agreed and dismissed Phillips' suit in 2003.
But the higher court ruled that, if Phillips' story is true, Irons "deceitfully engaged in sexual acts, which no reasonable person would expect could result in pregnancy, to use plaintiff's sperm in an unorthodox, unanticipated manner yielding extreme consequences."
But the appeals court judges agreed Irons didn't steal the sperm.
"She asserts that when plaintiff 'delivered' his sperm, it was a gift - an absolute and irrevocable transfer of title to property from a donor to a donee," the decision said. "There was no agreement that the original deposit would be returned upon request."
Irons said Thursday that she and Phillips met in medical school and had been good friends over the years before they started a sexual relationship in 1999.
"It's crazy how far he's taken this," she said.