A New York couple was in the midst of a divorce when the wife and her $450-per-hour lawyer had an affair.
The trouble began when Atesa and Anthony Pacelli reluctantly decided to get a divorce after eight years of marriage.
“Neither one of us really wanted to get divorced — we have a young child,” Anthony told Inside Edition.
When they reconciled briefly, Anthony said he found out his wife was having an affair. Shockingly, he said the other man was his wife's $450-an-hour divorce at attorney.
"I discovered text messages on her iPad that were a complete exchange from the time they met,” he said.
The text exchanges were flirty and Atesa had even sent him bikini selfies.
Atesa said she takes responsibility for sending the messages, "but what I would say, they weren't who I am," she told Inside Edition. "They're the representation of a very screwed up period in my life."
According to court documents, Atesa and her attorney got drunk during a lunch meeting and went back to her apartment, where they had sex.
“It was a situation where I felt at the time I didn’t know what was going on. I was so intoxicated,” she recalled. “I remember saying no, I remember him on top of me, I remember having sex. I know I was not in any state of mind to consent."
At one point after the incident she sent Cedeno a text saying, "I miss you."
She explained: "These text messages were between an emotionally wrecked women who had just been taken advantage of. And I was also deeply in denial about what had just happened.”
When Anthony discovered the affair, he says he was furious and the divorce was back on. But he later came to the conclusion that his wife had been manipulated by her lawyer.
“This guy is a bad guy," he said. "It's very difficult and I’m working on the forgiveness aspect.”
For the sake of their 4-year-old daughter, the couple is now back together. They have filed suit against the Manhattan divorce lawyer, Peter Cedeno, alleging malpractice and sexual assault.
Their attorney, Joshua Bauchner, told Inside Edition: “It is the attorney's burden, it is the attorney's obligation to make sure something like this never happens, there can be no consent in a relationship like this.”
A lawyer for Cedeno, Michael Green, says the case of wrongdoing against his client is without merit.
“We categorically deny the allegations in the complaint,” Green told the New York Daily News. “We believe at the end of the day, Mr. Cedeno will be proven innocent.”