In the Lake Hollywood kitchen of Sharon and Billy Harris hangs a large print of "The Police", with the long-defunct band's leader Sting prominently displayed.
The Harris family won't be looking at that print the same way anymore.
Today, in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom, Sharon Harris filed for divorce from husband William B. Harris for what her attorney said was an "Unconscionable Act of Miscommunication" based on an incident that occurred on August, 5, 2015 in the whereabouts of Tuscany, Italy,
"Billy Harris, by his very miscalculations, to wit, laziness and lack of punctuality, missed a platinum opportunity to give his wife a day to remember and for that there is no second chance," said Sharon Harris' attorney Marvin Mitchelson, III. "A question here, a bit of aggressiveness, or pushiness by Mr. Harris there and most importantly a heavier foot on the gas pedal and this could have all been avoided."
What Mitchelson - grandson of the attorney who famously argued the landmark 1979 Lee Marvin/Michelle Triola Marvin. palimony case -was referring to was the early evening of August 5 when celebrity host and renowned magician Billy Harris missed an extraordinary opportunity to see Sting - and his wife Trudy - host a elite party at their vineyard in Chianti, Tuscany.
Sharon was in such a state shock over the foul-up that two days later she filed for divorce in a Perugia courthouse just 30 kilometers from the charming hilltop Umbrian village the up-to-that-moment happily married couple were vacationing. The case has since been transferred to Los Angeles Municipals Court. Division 4, courtroom 9 where the case was heard today..
(Note: Much of the following was from preliminary hearing transcripts leaked to this reporter earlier today)
Although much of the information had been previously sealed, what was known is this. While on vacation in the town of Panciale, the Harris would spend time with two other vacationing Americans, journalist Michael Krikorian and chef Nancy Silverton.
On August 4th, Silverton and Krikorian had been invited by the Italian food writer Faith Willinger and the famous butcher Dario Cecchini to attended a party to celebrate the new vintages of wines at Sting and Trudy's il Palagio estate in Chianti. Silverton had made a vague mention of the party and suggested they all meet at a designated spot in Florence at 4:10 p.m to head to the butcher shop in Panzano and then "maybe go to a party". She made no mention, nor did Krikorian that Sting would be at this party. Though unconfirmed, sources say they both knew Sting would be there.
Later, Krikorian told the Harris he waited at the assigned spot in Florence until 4:11 p.m. before leaving. Immediately after, Silverton broke the news that not only was Sting at his winery, he sang two songs. "I'll Be Watching You" and "Time in a Bottle"
The Harris' were dumbfounded.,
"Really?", said Sharon. "Really?", said Billy. "Really?", said Sharon "Really?", said Billy. "Really?", said Sharon. "Really?", said Billy. (It should be noted that this is the relatively new usage of "really" that means "You got to be fuckin' kidding me." ) Simply by chance, an experimental Lamborghini drone flying overhead recorded the Harris' telling Silverton and Krikorian "really?" 61 times. Really.
"We were supposed to meet at 4:10 and you left at 4:11?," Billy asked in disbelief.
"Yeah, Billy. I waited a minute" Krikorian said. "What'd you want me to do? Wait all night? Precision, man. Good thing you weren't in charge of D-Day. We'd be eating wiener schnitzel instead of pappardelle tonight."
At that point, Sharon got up and looked at Billy and said "Late again, aren't you, Billy? Late again.".
"Don't talk to me, Billy. Don't waste time talking to me. You might be late for something else."
In today's court session, Harris looked at his cell phone several times, even texted twice. Finally, the Judge admonished Harris for the phone.
"Mr Harris, I will warn you only once. If you look at that phone, if you text, if it beeps, the bailiff will remove it and place it under lock and key until these proceedings are finished. Is that understood?"
"Yes, your highness. Oops, I mean your Judgeness," said a flustered Harris.
"It's 'Your honor'," the judge said.
"Well, no, not really, judge. I certainly don't consider it to be my honor."
Flabbergasted, the Judge ordered the proceedings to continue.
For two hours, the lawyers argued motions. Billy shot looks at Sharon who was steadfast in her refusal to look his way.
The judge called a recess. Back in court, the judge was speaking on a Mitchelson motion when Billy Harris 'phone beeped. Further defying the judge's order, he looked at it.
"Mr. Harris, I warned you," the judge said sternly. "Baliff, remove this goddamn cellphone from Mr. Harris' possession."
But, as the deputy approached, Harris stood up, his body shielding the phone from the approaching officer of the court..
Billy Harris was beaming.
He turned to Sharon and says "Honey, it's a text from Nancy. She says her and Michael already got their invite to Sting's party for this winter's releases. And Nancy says they can bring two guests and they want to bring us. And get this, baby. Nancy says Sting is hoping at this winter's party one of the guest will be a magician?"
Sharon stood up and walked to her husband..
"Billy, I love you." Then they kissed
The judge, besides himself. pounded the gavel..
":Get these to love birds out of my courtroom. Case dismissed."