Here is yet another story about how public anything is on the web: A Staten Island woman blogged enthusiastically about her belly dancing, resulting in the loss of monthly support payments from her ex-husband. Dorothy McGurk claimed she remained disabled and unable to work after a 1997 car accident and needed $850 a month in support payments for life from her soon-to-be ex-husband.
But Brian McGurk presented the divorce court with a series of his wife’s blogs to counter her claim she had trained as a belly dancer only for physical therapy, took lessons only once a week and had stopped dancing entirely in 2008.
Ms. McGurk, who also attended training to become a Reikki master spiritual healer, chronicled her dancing on blogs posted on Tribe, Facebook and MySpace from 2006 to 2007, four years after her surgery. Ms. McGurk blogged that she had been “dancing alone, everyday for three years” and had decided to dedicate herself to her “passion” and take dance classes twice a week.
One post read: “It’s been a three and a half year journey of realigning my spine (and hardware), body, mind and spirit with belly dancing for me. Today as I danced myself silly, I lifted my head and elongated my neck…as I swirled around… And then it happened, I got really, really high.”
The divorce trial involved several hearings throughout 2009 and 2010. At hearings in 2009, Ms. McGurk said she was prescribed belly dancing as “a form of physical therapy” to deal with chronic back pain because it strengthens and stretches her muscles. But when her own doctor was asked if he had recommended dancing to his patient, the doctor said, “I don’t know anything about it.”
Ms. McGurk, now 43, underwent two surgeries in 2003 and 2004, attended physical therapy and is taking several prescriptions. She was awarded $99K following a jury trial for her 1997 car accident.
Mr. McGurk, now 37, filed for divorce in 2007 and was initially ordered in 2008 to provide pendent lite maintenance of $850 a month.