Stephanie March started it, but it was inevitable.
Fox News is reporting that March, former star of the television show Law & Order: SVU, asked husband Flay to move out of their New York apartment. Estranged husband Flay was asked three weeks ago, with Flay obliging. He left for Los Angeles to film a television show while leaving her to tend to her ill mother and her own health issues.
"Three weeks ago, [March] asked him to leave" their apartment, the New York Post reports. "She was the one that precipitated the divorce."
As soon as Flay had returned from Los Angeles, he went to the courtroom and filed the official divorce papers, beating March to the courtroom to do so.
"It's a really difficult time for Stephanie, both because of this, and she's helping her mother, who has some health issues," said March's attorney, Deborah Lans. "And [she] is contending with her own health issues. Given all that, she would like to maintain her privacy."
March's mother's malady was undisclosed. March is suffering from endometriosis, a condition where tissue that usually lines the interior of the uterus grows outside the uterus, causing pain and infertility. March had to have an appendectomy because of the condition.
Page Six is reporting that Flay has retained Nancy Chemtob, a high-powered attorney. March's lawyer, Lans, is a partner of matrimony attorney Robert S. Cohen of Cohen Clair Lans Greifer & Thorpe. Though a prenuptial agreement is in place, the agreement is now being challenged.
Perez Hilton is reporting that, according to a 2005 prenuptial agreement both signed, Flay is scheduled to pay March $5,000 a month for the next five years. However, their $8 million residence can become his for a buyout of only $1 million. March would also get $50,000 for moving expenses.
March, however, feels that Flay is worth more than $20 million, for which she feels she is partly responsible. Both sides' legal representation is in negotiations, and a settlement is expected. However, with the divorce getting choppier, no timetable for that settlement has been given.
Flay, who rose to fame due to his cooking shows and restaurants he owns, has recently been linked to fellow chef Giada de Laurentiis, who herself is going through a divorce. Flay was seen with de Laurentiis in Miami before de Laurentiis filed her own divorce. The two also worked together on The Next Food Network Star, filming in Los Angeles. Flay's lawyer, however, has tried to quell that rumor.
"They (Flay and De Laurentiis) spent time together, they filmed a show together, they were never (romantically) involved," Chemtob said.