Fired Wal-Mart Exec Strikes Back, Claims 'Smear Tactic'

Sean soon admitted to his wife that he was having a sexual relationship with Roehm, sharing several details "including when the affair began and the number of times they engaged in sexual intercourse while traveling on Wal-Mart business." Although he told Shelley that he would end the affair, he later changed his story and the couple separated.

Although Sean believed that his job was safe since he was using his personal e-mail account on his home computer -- once writing to Roehm that "my gmail is secure.… write to me. tell me something. anything …I feel the need to be inside of your head if I cannot be near you" -- not counting on his wife's curiosity.

Around the time that Roehm filed her lawsuit, Wal-Mart lawyers contacted Shelley and obtained the e-mails from her.

And Roehm believes that Wal-Mart coerced Shelley into handing over the e-mails by threatening to withhold Sean's $200,000 bonus.

"I wasn't on the call, but from what I understand, he [the Wal-Mart attorney] called and said that Sean hadn't been paid his bonus and if they could turn it over, then he would be paid," Roehm told in February.

Mona Williams, a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart said it was "not true" that a lawyer for the company had made any threats to Shelley Womack, but declined to comment further.

Since the counterclaim was filed, Roehm has declined to comment. In a previous interview, she insisted that she did not have a romantic relationship with Sean Womack.

"Sean is a great friend, not a romantic friend," she told in February. "He's like a brother to me. Some of my very best friends are men. I know that even in this day and age, it's still hard to think that a woman and a man can be friends."

In a statement, her attorneys described the countersuit as a "smear tactic" and claimed that the e-mails were taken out of context. "There can be only one explanation for Wal-Mart's attempts to file a counterclaim (unless, of course, Wal-Mart hates its money and enjoys paying lawyers), and that is that Wal-Mart wants to try to destroy Ms. Roehm."

And her husband, Michael Roehm, who told reporters a few months ago that the couple was not getting divorced, was not available for comment. In a brief conversation last February, Shelley Womack declined to confirm or deny her role in the case or whether her husband's bonus had been discussed by an attorney for Wal-Mart.

Other evidence cited by the company included accounts by co-workers and friends, one of whom once saw Womack pinning Roehm against a wall "in an intimate pose" in a bar in Fayetteville, Ark. Another friend recounted that Roehm had once admitted to an "emotional affair," and that the co-workers had "fooled around" a "couple of times" and that "she knew she would be fired if the company were aware of her actions with Womack."

Despite the lawsuit, Womack and Roehm are still hitting the road and working together as a team to cultivate new clients. As the counterclaim was making headlines on Tuesday, the duo gave a presentation at the Online Media Marketing and Advertising conference in Hollywood, Calif.

The pair declined to answer questions about the lawsuit or their relationship, although the audience was buzzing about it. "It was the elephant in the room," said Tobi Elkin, the editor at large of MediaPost, which hosted the conference. "Everyone was talking about it."

The scandal hasn't seemed to change Roehm's feelings for Womack. She showed up at the conference only on the condition that Womack appear with her. "She wouldn't' speak without him," said Elkin. "She was hellbent on marketing them together. We wanted her alone, but she wouldn't do it."

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