We first saw NeNe Leake’s sidekick Diana in the background on the Real Housewives of Atlanta last season.
During RHOA season 3, Diana’s been a bit more in the forefront. If you recall, when NeNe had her nose job, it was Diana who was there to comfort her when Greg didn’t show up.
A lot of people around town have been wondering why Diana looks so dayum familiar… some are very much aware, while there are others who are totally clueless as to who Diana is.
Well let me refresh your memory…
You see… Diana aka Diana Gowins was awarded one of the largest child support payments of it’s time after she got pregnant and had twins by her married lover. A successful millionaire attorney who just happened to be married.
Attorney Willie Gary, a high profile attorney who is married to his childhood sweetheart, met Gowins in January 2000 at a Florida event honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Gary was the keynote speaker and Gowins, who excelled at track, was seeking sponsorship as an Olympic hopeful. The two agreed to meet for business, but ended up having sex.
Gowins, who became pregnant and gave birth to twins who are now around 10 years old, claimed she and Gary dated on and off for four years. However, he denied the pair had a “real” relationship and Gary’s attorneys say the pair only had two rendezvous at a hotel. Gowins has sole custody of the twins and Gary was began paying Gowins $28,000 per month.
Everything was honkey-dorey for a while til Gary suddenly decreased her payments. According to several articles online, he started getting an inkling she wasn’t using this money just for taking care of the twins they had together.
According to the court documents, it turns out Diana wasn’t putting the money into the two kid’s college fund like she promised! She was splurging the money on cruises without the kids, tummy tucks, a Steinway piano, and designer clothes. She also spent thousands on private school tuition and diamonds for her oldest child, a teenage daughter from a previous relationship. Yes, diamonds.
So what happened next was that Willie Gary, along with his lawyers, argued in November of 2005 to Fulton County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Wright that Diana Gowins was misusing the child support to pay for things not directly related to the well being of their children together.
Gary ended up winning the case and his child support payments were reduced to more modest $5000 a month, leaving Diana with presumably only one cruise every two months, instead of weekly. The judge then told Gowins, a former nurse, to go back to work and quit going crazy with her lavish spending but she refused to do so. She responded to the judge that she has a right to be a stay-at-home mom.
Diana Gowins took Willie Gary back to court to contest the reduction in child support payments and her decision yielded her a huge payoff.
In 2007, the Georgia Court of Appeals decided to side with the mother, throwing out the previous ruling by Judge Cynthia Wright. The child support payments were re-raised to $28,000 a month.
“It’s a big decision,” Gowins’ attorney, Randy Kessler, said Tuesday after receiving a copy of the appellate court’s ruling. Kessler said he faxed a letter to Gary on Tuesday afternoon demanding that he pay about $300,000 to Gowins by Friday to get caught up and then resume monthly payments of $28,000, the amount he initially agreed to pay. Although $28,000 a month may sound high, Kessler said, Gary makes more than $13 million a year, so his payments are comparable to a man with an annual salary of $130,000 paying $280 a month for their twins.
“He agreed to it,” Kessler said. “He can afford it. He can’t just change his mind.”
Gary’s Atlanta attorney, Kenny Schatten, said he is considering appealing to the Georgia Supreme Court.
“I just look at this decision [by the appellate court] as a small hurdle,” he said.
The Fulton judge told Gowins, a former nurse, to go to work and watch her lavish spending, but she refused, saying she has a right to be a stay-at-home mom.
CLICK HERE to read the full court of appeals decision.
There you have it. I’m not sure if Willie Gary is still fighting the judgment or if he’s paying but it is what it is.
Diana Gowins is not just NeNe’s sidekick/BFF, her previous drama qualifies her for a spot in RHOA history. I wonder why Bravo has her playing the background when she has so much drama to offer? They must be up to something…