A wealthy Dallas real estate developer claims in a lawsuit that his wife had an affair with her plastic surgeon, secretly sold a $1.1 million diamond to promote a book and planned to replace the diamond with cubic zirconia.
The wife, who filed for divorce last month, separately claims her husband tried to extort $10 million from the plastic surgeon and threatened to ruin his reputation before suing him.
The suit, filed in Dallas County District Court by developer Lucien "Luke" Crosland, names Dr. Rodney Rohrich and UT Southwestern Medical Center, where Rohrich is professor and chairman of the plastic surgery department.
According to his website, Rohrich is "an internationally renowned expert in plastic surgery and has repeatedly been recognized as one of the best doctors in America."
Crosland alleges the diamond was sold to pay for travel and hotel rooms to promote a book on plastic surgery that his wife Mary and Rohrich had written called "Navigate Your Beauty."
Crosland heads the Crosland Group, which built the ilume development, a luxury apartment and retail complex in Oak Lawn. It also includes more than 22,500 square feet of retail shops on the ground floor.
Larry Friedman, an attorney for Mary Crosland, said her husband's lawsuit is a "shameful abuse of the judicial process" because the same issues were raised in divorce court and dismissed by the judge.
Mary Crosland filed for divorce last month, according to Dallas County records.
Rohrich did not respond to requests for comment. A UT Southwestern spokesperson said the university does not comment on pending litigation.
According to the lawsuit, Crosland bought the 23.26-carat diamond in February 2005 as an investment for $277,000.
In May 2008, he had it appraised for $1,116,450 and "mounted it in a ring that his wife could wear on occasion" until he could find a buyer.
Crosland said he and his wife both became patients of Rohrich several years ago and that Rohrich and his wife began an affair.
"Rohrich's relationship with Crosland's wife extended beyond their fiduciary physician-patient relationship to a sexual relationship," Crosland's attorney wrote in the lawsuit.
They sold the diamond without his knowledge, Crosland said, and "hatched a plan to purchase a cubic zirconia to replace the investment diamond."
Rohrich's online biography said he is married with two children.
The book, "Navigate Your Beauty," is currently sold on Amazon.
The lawsuit included quotes from the book.
"This topic has been a lifelong personal crusade for me," Rohrich wrote. "I have wanted to write this book for over 20 years, though I could not do so until I found the right partner … Fortunately, I have now found that person in my co-author … (She) is a beautiful and successful businesswoman, and more importantly, a savvy consumer."
In a motion filed late Wednesday in her divorce case, Mary Crosland claims that her husband tried to "shake down" and "extort" $10 million from Rohrich.
On May 2, she said her husband "stormed" into Southwestern Medical Center in a "fit of rage demanding" to meet with Rohrich and threatened to "ruin his reputation and his professional career."
Stephanie Curtis, an attorney for Lucien Crosland, said late Wednesday that the allegations of extortion are "completely made up, unfounded."
Mary Crosland said in the same divorce court papers that she left her husband "after having endured years of his physical abuse, mental abuse, emotional abuse, drunkenness, and sadistic behavior."
The divorce case, which was filed using the couple's initials, "allowed Luke Crosland to concoct his ultimate plan of revenge against Dr. Rohrich and to force his wife to settle her divorce for less," the motion said.
The divorce file also includes allegations that Lucien Crosland made against his wife.
Using initials and referring to Rohrich as "Dr. X," Lucien Crosland claimed in a counter petition in the divorce case that she used "her sexual guile coupled with sociopathic cunning (pursuant to her personality disorder) to convince Dr. X to leave his wife and young family so that (she) could continue her pathological self-promotion."
NBC 5's Don Peritz Jr. contributed to this report.