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Bling backlash: Former Texas athlete wants ring he gave ex

Mario Williams is a successful National Football League player. The former Houston Texan is now a defensive end for the Buffalo Bills, comfortable with a $100 million job contract. The athlete probably never imagined the transition would include a family law dispute.

The NFL player made the professional move last spring, weeks after proposing to his girlfriend. Erin Marzouki accepted his proposal in Feb. 2012, but by Jan. 2013, the engagement was off. Williams has since raised legal issues with a Texas court over ownership of the 10-plus carat engagement ring.

The $785,000 ring remained with Marzouki following the couple's split in Houston. According to Williams, his ex-fiancée refused to return the diamond although she initiated the end of the relationship.

Williams' attorneys called the broken engagement a "unilateral termination."

Williams argued the woman used him for his wealth. The lawsuit stated Marzouki had no intention of marrying Williams but was happy to make more than $330,000 in purchases with his American Express credit card. The athlete admitted the card was used with his permission.

The Bills' defenseman wants Marzouki to give back the ring as she allegedly promised to do in the event of a cancelled engagement. A temporary restraining order was requested to make sure the jewelry is not damaged or sold.

If what Williams says is true and proven, the former fianc?e may have to forfeit the diamond under the Texas conditional gift law. The ring was given on the promise that Marzouki would marry Williams. Since the condition of marriage was unfulfilled, Williams may have the right to take back the gift.

Marzouki's side of the story has yet to be told. A judge will have to sift through the "he said-she saids" to find the truth behind the claims.

Asset division can be a problem in prenuptial and divorce agreements. Texas attorneys infrequently represent parties in equitable distribution disputes over engagement property.

Source:  blog.chron.com, "Mario Williams sues to get his engagement ring back" David Barron, May. 06, 2013

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Law Office of Michael D. Tracton, P.C.

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