They had me at ‘sham wedding’.
William Jordan Blackmore, a celebrity hairdresser, has found himself in headlines around the world not for his illustrious clientele like Selena Gomez and Marc Jacobs, but for his marriage; alleging that his wife Andi Potamkin convinced him their wedding was real, when it fact it was never legal. He says it was to protect her family fortune.
Potamkin is a wealthy heiress to the Potamkin Auto Group fortune, a company valued at $1bn and one which was founded by her father Alan. A new lawsuit lodged in a Brooklyn, New York, courthouse by Blackmore claims that their marriage was an elaborate scheme to maximise publicity and dupe him into believing their three-year union was legal.
In 2015, the couple, who had been dating for 13 years, wed in a lavish ceremony in the 600-acre Amangari resort in Utah where guests were flown in via private jet and extensive coverage of the ceremony was secured in myriad magazines and websites.
Amangari is among the most exclusive spots in the US, Avengers star Elizabeth Olsen was on the guestlist and guests were treated to a no expense spared celebration over the course of four days, which included yoga classes, guided walks, karaoke, BBQs and complimentary accommodation at the venue’s suites.
In the court papers, Blackmore accuses his wife of trying to avoid the legal complications of a prenuptial agreement and hatched up what he considered to be a duplicitous scheme with her father to protect their extensive family fortune.
Their marriage ended in December 2018 after which time Blackmore discovered they weren’t legally married, claiming that he left the legal details of the wedding to his wife.
At the time, they asked a friend Dana Rizer, a yoga instructor, to officiate the wedding and then said she didn’t need to be ordained as they would be receiving their marriage license in New York.
Andi reportedly informed the officiant she “did not need to be, and should not be, legally authorized to marry the couple. Andi and Alan hid from [him in order to] deceive him into believing that the ceremony would result in an official and lawful marriage.”
Andi’s lawyer says that Blackmore knew he would be required to register the marriage at a courthouse to legalise it.
It was in December when they were settling on a division of assets – which would see Blackmore given a $1m cash payment and transfer of land in upstate New York – that the language of the settlement that tipped him off their marriage wasn’t legal, he says in the suit.
The papers referenced their wedding as a “symbolic ceremony … that did not constitute a legally binding marriage.”
“The truth was that Andi never wanted to marry Jordan; she just wanted a lavish wedding experience, a public-relations stunt and the attention that came with it,” the lawsuit claims.
“Alan also did not want his daughter to be legally married to Jordan because he was afraid that Jordan would not sign a prenuptial agreement before the wedding. So Alan and Andi fraudulently induced Jordan unwittingly to participate in a wedding that was a sham.”
A spokesperson for Potamkin, who works for her father’s $1bn-valued company, told the New York Post that the lawsuit “includes tons of untrue and irrelevant information about my family, included for no purpose other than to attempt to publicly embarrass us.”
They are currently embroiled in a prenuptial agreement battle and intend on legally marrying so that they can divorce and enforce the financial arrangement.
He is seeking $2m in damages.
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