Family attorneys in Pasadena have seen nosy exes do some pretty crazy things, but nothing like the father-daughter duo of Sam and Dianna Divingnzzo. The Divingnzzos were busted last month for violating wiretapping laws by a federal judge, who ordered them to pay $120,000 after they admitted to bugging a teddy bear so they could spy on Dianna's ex-husband, William Lewton.
A judge in Omaha, Nebraska, ruled that they broke serious privacy laws back in January to June 2008 when the two amateur snoops tore the head off Dianna and William's daughter's favorite teddy bear and placed a recording device on the inside of the stuffed animal. During the custody hearing, knowledge of the "teddy bear tapes" became public, which promoted Lewton to file the lawsuit.
Lewton was shocked that his ex would go to such lengths to spy on him.
"Being her favorite teddy bear, I just can't fathom the thought of somebody taking the little bear's head off and putting a bugging device for whatever reason," he told local reporters.
U.S. Judge F.A. Gossett said in a 27-page decision the Divingnzzos violated federal wiretapping laws. An attorney for the Divingnzzos said his clients were shocked by the judge's decision and they were disappointed that a jury did not get to hear the case. He also said they planned on arguing a case that said Lewton's interaction with their daughter should have been monitored and a jury would have agreed. The conversations and footage recorded by the teddy bear were not heard in court as a previous ruling determined the tapes to have violated Nebraska's wiretapping laws and therefore could not be used as evidence.
William Lewton's lawyer said they plan on pursuing the case in state court as well.
"Technology has changed the way people can collect information about their spouses and ex-spouses," he said. "This particular case is sort of the perfect storm of illegal and wrong behavior coming to light."