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NC Sen. Gunn sued for breaking up aide’s marriage

August 28, 2020 GMT

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina state senator is the subject of a lawsuit filed by a Wake County man who accuses him of breaking up his marriage to the legislator’s aide.

Arthur Johns sued Burlington Republican Sen. Rick Gunn this week in Wake County Superior Court, seeking monetary damages.

Johns’ lawsuit, first reported by WRAL-TV, says Gunn’s interference in his two-decade-old marriage to legislative assistant Karen Johns and their subsequent relationship led to marital separation last year.

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Johns is suing under what are called the claims of alienation of affection and of criminal conversation, which is also known as adultery.

“I didn’t want this to happen,” Johns said on Thursday. “It’s just unfortunate.”

Gunn, who joined the Senate in 2011, told The News & Observer of Raleigh on Friday that “the lawsuit is baseless and hurtful, and I disagree with these allegations.” He declined further comment, citing the litigation.

Gunn announced last fall — months after the lawsuit said the Johnses separated — that he wouldn’t seek reelection this year.