An heir to the Barneys department store estate is claiming a North Carolina woman tried to extort him over a romantic affair between the two, according to testimony related to a lawsuit filed last month.
According to the New York Post, Robert Pressman claims he met Anna Purcell at a Puerto Rican hotel earlier this year. Shortly thereafter, they became an item, despite the fact Purcell was married.
In subsequent months, Pressman reportedly spent a large sum of money on gifts for his 38-year-old mistress. Purcell claimed he also regaled her with tales of his exceptional intelligence and global influence.
The crux of her lawsuit against him, however, hinges on the allegation that he never told her he was married.
Behind the scenes, Pressman reportedly filed for divorce from his wife, Mallory Samson, as he and his mistress planned to move into a palatial Connecticut home.
According to Purcell’s court filing, that move included a written promise from Pressman that he would take care of her financially.
By all accounts, the relationship was moving according to plan until two days before the scheduled moving date. Pressman reportedly had a pair of strokes that day, ultimately leading to Purcell’s realization that her boyfriend was already married.
While with him in the hospital, she claims Samson called his cellphone. When Purcell answered, she said she was able to put the pieces together.
“My client did not discover until the 59th minute of the 11th hour that he was in fact married,” attorney Bernard Kleinman said.
Pressman is not conceding the claims, however, and is making some allegations of his own.
First of all, he denies agreeing to provide for her. Reports indicate the document she sumitted to the court is not signed.
He further claims Purcell ignored signs of a possible medical emergency. She allegedly recorded footage of him “sleeping and twitching on the bed” and left him alone in the home during the episode.
After a largely incapacitated Pressman was forced to call 911 himself and was admitted to the hospital, he alleges his mistress stole roughly $12,000 in cash from the residence and his wallet.
Following the breakup that ensued, he said Purcell began making a series of costly demands, including a new car for her son and prepayment of two years’ rent in the Greenwich home.
Pressman also claims she threatened to share details of the affair with media if he did not pay her $12 million.
While Kleinman called the allegations a “total fabrication,” Pressman’s attorney, Philip Russell, said the businessman has launched an investigation into his former mistress in response to the lawsuit.
[Featured image: Anna Purcell/Barneys–Facebook/Associated Press]