Fantasia's Future Could Include Million-Dollar 'Home Wrecker' Lawsuit

As Barrino recovers from love triangle overdose, more troubles may be ahead.

Aug. 12, 2010— -- Fantasia Barrino's troubles could just be starting.

The 2004 "American Idol" winner was released from the hospital Wednesday, two days after an accidental overdose of aspirin and sleep medication.

"She has been lifted up by the outpouring of love and support from her fans," manager Brian Dickens said in a statement Wednesday. "She is more committed than ever to her daughter and her work because they are her heart, her soul and inspiration."

But Barrino could also be facing a potential million-dollar lawsuit as a "home-wrecker."

Barrino has been accused by Paula Cook of Charlotte, North Carolina of having an adulterous affair with Antwaun Cook, her husband, and the father of their two young sons, ages 6 and 2. Paula, who has filed for divorce from Antwaun, named Barrino in a complaint filed last week seeking custody of the boys, along with alimony, child support, the family home and a 2000 Lexus.

Paula Cook's attorney, Tamela Wallace, declined to comment on the custody case or the recent turn of events involving Barrino. According to Barrino's attorney, Gena Morris, the singer has already been named as a witness in the Cooks' custody case.

"For the sake of everybody involved, I hope she is not sued because she did not break up the Cooks' marriage," Morris said Thursday in a letter to "However, if Mrs. Cook does make the headline-seeking decision to sue Fantasia ... rest assured we will vigorously defend her."

On Monday, Barrino denied that she was a home-wrecker but confirmed that she had an 11-month relationship with Cook. In a statement, her manager Brian Dickens said the singer is "certain that she is not responsible for the deterioration of the Cooks' marriage."

That evening, Dickens found Barrino almost unconscious from an overdose of aspirin and sleep medication at her Charlotte residence and called 911.

Though he later stressed that Barrino's overdose was accidental, Dickens noted that the singer's mental and emotional state had become frayed because of the stress of the affair.

"Fantasia does not know what to believe now," Dickens said of the child custody lawsuit. "She knows some of the allegations in Mrs. Cook's complaint are totally false. There are others she strongly doubts. There is plenty she does not know. Fantasia is heartbroken. She feels betrayed. She is also sorry for the pain she has caused."

Photos of Barrino and Antwaun together -- walking hand-in-hand and riding on a personal watercraft -- have circulated on the Internet for months. Despite tattooing "Cook" just below her left shoulder, Barrino had always maintained until recently that they were just friends.

Fantasia Barrino Faces Potential 'Alientation of Affection' Lawsuit

Even though Barrino is not involved in the child custody case, Paula Cook could sue the Grammy-nominated singer for breaking up the Cooks' five-year marriage. That's because North Carolina is one of only seven states that allows a spouse to sue a third party who interferes with a marriage for "alienation of affection." About 200 alienation of affection claims are filed each year in the state.

According to Beau Baez III, associate Dean for the Charlotte School of Law, the bar for establishing a claim isn't very high. The other woman or man has to know that the person they are having an affair with is married. And the aggrieved spouse has to show only that the marriage was diminished, not destroyed, by the affair.

Paula Cook has the potential to win millions from Barrino.

"The awards tend to be very large, where the facts tend to be egregious," Baez told

Earlier this year, a North Carolina jury awarded 60-year-old Cynthia Shackelford $9 million after she sued her husband's mistress for breaking up her 33-year marriage.

In her current case, Paula Cook appears to be setting the stage for a potential claim against Barrino, whom she alleges met her husband in August 2009, when the singer visited the T-Mobile store where he works. Shortly after, Cook claims Antwaun began frequenting "bars, restaurants, nightclubs and the like," with Barrino.

In the complaint obtained by a Charlotte television station, Cook accused her husband of enjoying "the lavish benefits associated with the high-profile relationship."

"Ms. Barrino flew defendant / husband to places such as Atlanta, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Barbados," she alleged, adding that he "attended celebrity parties, concerts, photo shoots and award shows with Ms. Barrino."

Cook also claims that her husband and Barrino "recorded their illicit sexual activity."

As for whether Barrino knew Antwaun was married, Dickens said in his statement, "Fantasia believed Mr. Cook when he told her he was in a bad marriage and his heart was not in it. She believed him when he told her he and Mrs. Cook separated in the late summer of 2009. She believed Mr. Cook when he told her he lived elsewhere. He even took her there."

But Paula Cook claims that in October a family member spoke to Barrino directly and told her that Antwaun had a wife and two small children. In the complaint, Cook said Barrino responded that she "loved" Antwaun and "he was a grown man" who could "make his own decisions."

In June 2010, Antwaun separated from his wife. In her complaint, Paula Cook described a phone conversation with her husband in July, which Cook says Barrino interrupted, and allegedly told Cook, "He don't want you. ... Maybe the next time that you get a husband, you'll know how to keep him. ... That's why he is here with me."