A former caddie for LPGA veteran Jackie Gallagher-Smith is suing her, claiming he became an “unknowing sperm donor” when she seduced him with the intention of getting pregnant.
Gary Robinson filed a lawsuit April 27 in Palm Beach County (Fla.) Circuit Court, seeking a jury trial and damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress and fraud. A hearing date hasn’t been set.
Gallagher-Smith, 37, gave birth to a boy in mid-March. Both she and her husband, Edward Smith, declined comment. Their lawyer, Edwin Belz of Chicago, said Robinson previously asked Gallagher-Smith for $250,000 to settle the case.
“I just feel this lawsuit is an attempt at extortion,” Belz told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Robinson, 26, began to caddie for Gallagher-Smith in February 2004 and soon received advances from her, he said. Robinson said he was in an emotional state after ending a long-term relationship with a girlfriend and he passed off the innuendoes as “innocent playful activity.”
The relationship became sexual two months later and the two would often engage in unprotected sex, Robinson said. When rumors of the relationship spread around the LPGA, Gallagher-Smith told Robinson that he must deny they had anything but a work relationship, the suit states.
Robinson continued by saying that Gallagher-Smith told him she and her husband had been unsuccessful in conceiving a child. In July, she told Robinson she was pregnant and led him to believe he might be the father, the suit says. Under pressure from Robinson, Gallagher-Smith eventually told her husband and said he forgave them, and Robinson continued to caddie for Gallagher-Smith through the end of the season in October, Robinson said.
Robinson’s lawyer, Cathy Lively, said state law might make it impossible for Robinson to ever find out whether he is the baby’s father. “Under Florida law, a child born during the course of a marriage is deemed to be a child of the marriage,” Lively said. “If a man fathers a child and the woman is married, the father is precluded from exercising any parental rights unless the husband and wife agree. You can’t compel DNA testing.”
Robinson said Smith and Gallagher-Smith promised DNA testing but quit accepting phone calls and told Robinson he would be contacted with test results after the baby’s birth. A week after the birth, Robinson said he received a letter from the couple saying that all future contact would be through their attorney (Belz) and that DNA tests aren’t recommended until 10 or 12 weeks after birth. Lively said there is no recommended wait time for DNA tests and there is no guarantee that the couple plans to allow a paternity test.
“I hope to get retribution for the emotional pain and suffering and eventually get some rights to the child,” Robinson said. “The laws in Florida are very tough with the situation I’m in, but this suit is about financial retribution.”
Gallagher-Smith is an 11-year veteran who has one career victory – the 1999 Giant Eagle Classic – and career earnings of $1.18 million. She has not played a tour event this year.
– Staff and wire reports