"She was fired because he felt that their relationship was affecting his marriage," and that's not a strictly gender issue, Shapiro said, adding that Nelson did not complain about the personal comments and questions Knight sent her.
In the court of public opinion, the ruling surprised – and stung.
Rekha Basu wrote a scathing column for the Des Moines Register, calling the all-male Supreme Court's decision "embarrassing."
"I think a female justice working through her own first-hand experience and perspective would have had a different take on it," Basu said in an interview with Faris. "Women are judged on the basis of their appearance, even though they're in jobs that have nothing to do with appearance. ... A man would never be terminated for being too handsome."
Nelson filed yet another appeal, and last month the court agreed to reconsider its earlier ruling – a rare occurrence.
The same seven judges came up with the same ruling, clarifying that you can be fired "…because the boss's spouse views the relationship between the boss and the employee as a threat to her marriage."
Nelson, out of legal options, hasn't pursued another full-time job as a dental assistant.
"I think my biggest fear is trusting someone ... that I have to work that close to. I wouldn't want to be hurt again."
Now, the dental assistant who once earned a good salary with benefits by day is scraping by on tips waiting tables at a local sports bar at night. Working nights means she spends much less time with her children.
"I tuck 'em in two nights a week. That's it," she said, crying.
She doesn't see Knight around town, Nelson said.
"I see his lawyer. ... He comes and eats at the restaurant that I work at. I could either pick my head up and go with it, or I can walk away with my tail between my legs. And I'm not going to let that happen."
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