Elizabeth Petrakis, the Long Island woman who recently won a groundbreaking divorce battle, blamed her divorce on a “fraudulent” prenuptial agreement, but her cousin says it was Petrakis’ affair with her husband that really ended the marriage.
“That’s just her excuse to make her feel better after what she did,” Alisa Houraney told ABCNews.com.
Before Petrakis married Peter Petrakis in 1998, she was presented with what her lawyer called a “heavy handed” prenup that would give her $25,000 for every year that she and her husband were married, but nothing more.
She originally refused to sign it, but a few days before her wedding, she agreed to sign after her husband promised her he would do away with the prenup once the two began to have children. He did not destroy the prenup, even after they had children, according to his estranged wife.
The couple separated, and a court ruled on Feb. 20 that Peter Petrakis had “fraudulently induced” Elizabeth Petrakis to sign the prenup that hung only on a verbal promise.
But Elizabeth Petrakis’ cousin Alisa Houraney claims that there was more to the marriage’s end than a problematic prenup.
“She set me up with her husband’s best friend, and I end up marrying him. I was pregnant, and she was the maid of honor at my wedding,” Houraney told ABCNews.com.
Houraney and her now ex-husband Steve Houraney were married at a 250-person wedding in Garden City, N.Y., in 2007. But Houraney said that within weeks of the wedding, she suspected the affair.
Houraney said that she and her cousin Elizabeth were so close that Elizabeth was in the waiting room a few weeks later when Houraney gave birth.
“She was sleeping with him, and she was in the waiting room when I delivered my son,” Houraney said. “[My husband] left me there, and went with [Petrakis] in the waiting room.”
Houraney and her husband were married for less than a year before splitting.
“I just feel that, somebody like that, people need to know the truth,” Houraney said. “She says her husband is a good guy and he’s a good person. He treated her like a princess, never was mean to her, never cheated on her. I don’t understand why she’s saying, ‘poor victim’ when you had a good life and you have to destroy two families.”
Neither Elizabeth Petrakis nor Steve Houraney immediately responded to ABC News’ requests for comment today, but Petrakis told the New York Post that the affair was “absolutely not” what destroyed her marriage.
Her attorney says the situation does not affect the legal case regarding the prenup.
“I think she made her statements previously, and from my perspective, it has no legal relevance to the case,” her attorney, Dennis D’Antonio, told ABCNews.com. “I would have no comment with respect to any activity that took place between her and her husband that were personal matters.”
Petrakis now owns her own business, Divorce Prep Experts, which helps others navigate divorce proceedings. She said hundreds of people have attended the company’s seminars since its start in 2008. Houraney says she doesn’t want to be involved in the drama anymore.
“I forgave her a long time ago. I’m over it. I have peace about it,” she said. “I don’t want to fight anymore. We don’t talk anymore.”