WILKES-BARRE — The legal tussle between a local TV personality and his ex-girlfriend took a new turn on Tuesday.
David D. Kuharchik, of West Wyoming, filed a response and counterclaim against Sharon Lynett, of Dunmore, arguing that he never promised to marry Lynett as she claimed, never sought money from her and that she was “a dangerous scorned lover” who stalked and defamed him.
He is seeking more than $200,000 in damages and costs, claiming one count each of defamation, breach of contract, assault and battery, abuse of process and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Lynett’s suit, initially filed in January in Luzerne County Court, claims Kuharchik repeatedly promised in 2012 to marry Lynett after his divorce, that he owes her more than $26,000, and that Kuharchik was physically abusive, “especially after drinking alcohol to excess.”
Kuharchik’s response: Lynett’s behavior when intoxicated was combative and violent.
“Defendant did not like her drunken, abusive behavior, especially in front of his children,” during a final, angry car trip home from the New Jersey shore, according to Kuharchik’s response, filed by defense attorneys with the Comitz Law Firm.
Kuharchik has worked as a host and meteorologist at WBRE-TV.
Lynett is represented by Haggerty, Hinton and Cosgrove of Scranton. According to her suit:
• Kuharchik repeatedly promised in 2012 to marry her after his divorce.
• After Kuharchik complained of financial difficulties due to his divorce proceedings and child support obligations for his three children, he asked Lynett for financial help to pay his mortgage so he would not lose his home to foreclosure. He promised she would be paid back when the home was sold or in equity if they chose to live there after they were married.
• Lynett paid Kuharchik’s monthly mortgage of $1,695 or more from October 2012 through June 2013, for a total of $15,258.
• In May 2013, Kuharchik asked Lynett to co-sign the loan for a court-ordered refinancing in which his wife was removed from the deed. After Kuharchik again promised to marry Lynett and give her full access to the full equity in the home, she agreed to co-sign.
• That same month, Kuharchik asked Lynett to loan him another $9,000 so he could finalize distribution of the property with his wife as part of the divorce.
• Violence by the TV personality included a Nov. 22, 2012 assault on Lynett in her vehicle, in which he punched her and fractured her hands; and on Dec. 15, 2012, when, during a drunken tantrum while a passenger in Lynett’s vehicle, Kuharchik smashed the windshield and the navigation screen.
• Lynett said she ended the relationship after a “vicious attack upon her” by Kuharchik on the way home from the New Jersey shore in July 2013.
According to paperwork filed by Kuharchik on Tuesday:
• The pair “discussed the possibility of a potential future together, but there was never a promise to marry.”
• Kuharchik never asked for money, and Lynett “was desperate to please and keep her relationship with (Kuharchik), often begging him to stay with her.”
Lynett “even volunteered to help (Kuharchik) financially,” stating repeatedly that if he pursued a relationship and future with her, he would “have nothing to worry about financially” because of “her family’s immense wealth,” the response states.
Lynett is a member of the family which owns Times-Shamrock Communications and area media outlets including newspapers The Citizens’ Voice of Wilkes-Barre and The Standard Speaker of Hazleton.
“Moreover, (Lynett) would often communicate via social media or text that she would take on (Kuharchik’s) financial obligations because she loved him so much and found him to be ‘worth it,’” the response states.
• Kuharchik accuses Lynett of “drunken outbursts,” saying she damaged her own car and her hands were injured when Kuharchik stopped her from hitting him.
• The pair agree on one thing: that July 1 car trip back from New Jersey was the end of their relationship.
Kuharchik’s filing states his three minor children were in the car and Lynett “was very drunk,” at which time he told her he no longer wanted to have a relationship.
He maintains he prevented Lynett from “attempting suicide by trying to jump out of the moving vehicle.”
• Kuharchik claims Lynett “stalked” and “harassed” him after the break-up, demanding “immediate payment of all money she ever gifted him,” which Kuharchik had construed as nothing more than “gifts between lovers.”
• Kuharchik states Lynett’s claims in her suit were false, and she also spread false rumors about him “in an attempt to blacken his reputation in the community.”
• Noting Lynett’s co-signature on the mortgage loan, Kuharchik says she failed to make her share of the payments as agreed. He also says a lis pendens claim on the property, sought by Lynett as part of her legal action, caused him to take a loss of more than $17,000 on the house when it was sold.
A jury trial has been demanded in the case.