All Paula Cook wanted was to have a happy life with husband Antwaun and their children – but her husband’s alleged affair with Fantasia Barrino ruined all that, according to Paula’s attorney.
“She is saddened and disheartened by the end of her marriage,” divorce attorney Tamela Wallace tells PEOPLE. “She’s embarrassed, and humiliated and distressed by the lack of respect that was shown for her marriage by Ms. Barrino.”
Pictures surfaced Friday of the American Idol season 3 winner meeting with Antwaun Cook in a local Charlotte, N.C., park – and being filmed by video cameras presumably for her VH1 reality show, Fantasia for Real.
“It’s that kind of brazen behavior that Mrs. Cook has had to endure for the last 11 months, until June of this year,” Wallace says. “This is something that has caused her emotional distress, pain, anguish.”
According to court documents, Paula had planned a wedding anniversary trip to New Orleans for herself and her husband Antwaun, and ended up going alone. While she was there, she was informed that her husband was having an affair with Barrino.
“She wanted nothing more than to have a happy family with her husband and her children. And she’s not been able to do that,” Wallace says. Her attorney describes Paula, a special education teacher at a local high school, as “just the quintessential soccer mom.”
Wallace wouldn’t confirm that her client might sue Barrino, 26, under the much talked about “home wrecker” law. But, she says, her client is “weighing her options.”
Barrino’s lawyer, Gena Morris, told PEOPLE that: “[Paula Cook] has threatened via her lawyers to me to sue Fantasia.”
Morris called the so called “home wrecker” laws “a comical irony … because they arise out of laws when women were property of men.”
Paula’s lawyer emphasizes that her client is a private citizen who didn t ask for her husband’s affair to make national news.
“The only mistake she made was marrying a man who Ms. Barrino felt like she was entitled to have,” Wallace says. “She is having to defend her marriage, when she didn’t ask for this.”
Barrino’s lawyer added, “Paula Cook intentionally chose to turn her private legal matter into a public spectacle by pleading in a tabloid manner. None of the allegations against Fantasia were factually necessary to support Mrs. Cook’s claims against Mr. Cook. Mrs. Cook could have elected to resolve her case out of the public eye.”