6/25/2014 1:56:00 PM,
Jeff D. Gorman
(CN) - The ex-wife of pro golfer John Daly can pursue claims that his Hooters-affiliated girlfriend broke up their marriage, the Mississippi Appeals court ruled.
Sherrie Allison Miller and Daly married in 2001, resided in Tennessee and divorced there in February 2010. Miller blamed the couple's separation and divorce on Daly's mistress, whom she described as an employee of Daly's longtime sponsor, Hooters Inc.
The ex-wife's 2011 complaint in DeSoto County, Miss., named both Cladakis and Hooters as defendants, as well as the mistress's other alleged employers, Provident Advertising and Marketing Inc. and Provident Management Corp Inc. Though a resident of Florida, Cladakis allegedly lived in DeSoto while the events in question occurred.
Claiming that Cladakis was acting within the scope of her employment when she had sexual encounters with Daly and exchanged phone calls and text messages with him, Miller alleged alienation of affection and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Cladakis also stands accused of interfering with the couple's divorce proceedings, interfering with Miller's visitation of her son with Daly, and shutting of the utilities at Miller's Tennessee home.
While Hooters claimed that it never employed Cladakis, Provident said it employed her to do marketing work in Florida, not Mississippi.
The trial court dismissed Miller's lawsuit, claiming that it lacked personal jurisdiction over the defendants.
Reviving that suit last week, the Mississippi Court of Appeals found, 7-2, that jurisdiction exists because Cladakis was temporarily in Mississippi when the allegedly improper conduct took place.
"The alleged sexual activity between Cladakis and Daly within the state of Mississippi, which contributed to the breakup of Daly's marriage with Miller, constituted a tort committed, at least in part, within this state, and satisfies the long-arm statute," Judge Donna Barnes wrote for the majority.
Cladakis did not file an affidavit contradicting Miller's claims for alienation of affection, which Barnes noted is still recognized in Mississippi but has been abolished in Tennessee and Florida.
"For whatever reason Cladakis and Daly chose Mississippi for the site of their liaisons, this court finds that decision constituted a purposeful availment to activities within the state for purposes of personal jurisdiction," Barnes wrote.
The award of attorneys' fees to Cladakis is also reversed, according to the June 17 ruling.
Daly won the PGA Championship in his first year on tour in 1991. He also won the British Open in 1995.
This past April, the golfer posted a video to his Twitter page, showing him hit a drive out of the mouth of singer Katherine Michelle, who calls herself the best friend of Cladakis on her Twitter page.
ABC described Cladakis as a Hooters promotional director in a 2012 article that quotes her extensively about the improvements in Daly's game.