In 1945, 42-year-old Victor Sammarco was arrested in New York City for failure to pay $1225 (nearly $16,000 today) in alimony to Mrs. Elizabeth Doyen, to whom he had apparently been married for eleven years and later divorced. He was thrown in alimony jail but protested his innocence. “I never saw this lady before.”
Then a 47-year-old man named William Doyen appeared before the court claiming that he was her ex-husband. He did so because he wanted “no man to carry my burdens. I want no innocent man in jail.” But Mrs. Boyen insisted that Sammarco was her ex-husband, not the man claiming to be so. Sammarco became so enraged by her claim that he challenged her attorney to a fight outside the courtroom.
The judge took the two Doyens into his chambers, where Mr. Doyen proceeded to tell Mrs. Doyen things about their marriage that only he could know. She was finally convinced and said, “I made an honest mistake.”
Sammarco threatened to file suit for $25,000 for his false arrest.