The rules are a little muddy, but when a wedding engagement is broken off, should the ring be given back? The decision is a personal one, but it’s the subject of a very public and emotional battle in and outside B.C. Supreme Court.
It was an ugly shouting and shoving match outside B.C. Supreme Court Thursday.
All over this $16,500 sapphire and diamond engagement ring, given to her after they were together just three weeks.
Now, 20 months later, they’re split up, and he wants that ring back.
“I gave her the first one, the second one she went to the diamond store to try it on, and then she returned it — she paid out of her own credit card — this second one is mine, she doesn’t want to return it,” says Charlie Zampieri.
“She tried to milk me for $73,000 from my bank account to buy her condo.”
‘When you promise to marry, you get this engagement ring. If the marriage doesn’t go through, you don’t get to keep the engagement ring,” says Zampieri’s lawyer, Ada P. Lam.
“That’s really all there is to it, and that’s B.C. law.”
But Jessica Bennett claims she should be able to keep the ring because Zampieri has other financial debts outstanding with her.
“He told me I could keep it lieu of damages for the condo,” says Bennett.
“No I did not,” says Zampieri.
There are numerous unsubstantiated allegations being hurled by both sides.
“You are a criminal,” says Bennett. “Your ex is a prostitute from skid row.”
“You’re the escort,” says Zampieri.
Followed by even more unsubstantiated allegations.
“You pick up hookers!” says Bennett.
“No, I don’t! You’re the hooker!” says Zampieri.
“I found out about you.”
“I’m calling the cops,” says Bennett.
Finally the pair got before the judge, who just wanted to hear about the ring, and encourage Ms. Bennett to retain legal counsel.
In the end, Mr. Zampieri’s lawyer asked the judge to let her keep the ring in her own safety deposit box.
The judge said no.
He ordered that Ms. Bennett sign an undertaking saying she won’t dispose of the ring, and hold it until she comes back to court with a lawyer next week.