YONKERS, N.Y. - A real estate developer who was shot in the head as he slept at home says his cheating wife did it in an attempt to kill him and avoid a messy divorce.
Kenneth Dearden provided an unusually detailed look at the case from his point of view by filing a lawsuit against his wife, a New York Police Department psychologist, a year after the shooting.
He said he was sleeping Nov. 14, 2013, in their upscale suburban home and woke up with a searing pain in his jaw - from a gunshot to the base of his skull. He survived, possibly because the shooter apparently used an antique derringer that had been a gift to his wife from her parents.
Dearden said that his wife had been having an affair since 2011 and that the man had been pressuring her to end her 18-year marriage.
"With Plaintiff no longer in the picture, Defendant could avoid a contentious divorce, keep the marital home, and never admit the marital infidelity to any family or friends," says Dearden's lawsuit, which alleges assault, battery, and emotional distress and seeks unspecified damages.
Despite the alleged affair, Kenneth Dearden and his wife, Emily Dearden, were still living together with their two daughters when the shooting occurred and continued to do so for a year afterward, even after she filed for divorce in August.
Emily Dearden has been charged with attempted murder, but denies the charge and her husband's allegations. Her lawyer, Paul Bergman, called the lawsuit "baseless" and said it was retaliation for her divorce filing.
Emily Dearden, who is free on $150,000 bail, has been suspended from her NYPD job. She has moved to Manhattan and was ordered to stay away from the rest of the family. She has until next month to respond to the lawsuit, said Kenneth Dearden's lawyer, Mitchell Schuster.
The couple's daughters are living with their father.