A Merrill Lynch money manager was forced to leave his job in shame after his ex blasted out emails falsely claiming he hired hookers, had sexually transmitted diseases, and used drugs, according to a $7 million lawsuit.
Jean-Charles Beriau, 47, who has been locked in a nasty divorce with Thea D. Shive, 65, since 2020, claims she also sent the messages to his new gig as a private wealth advisor at Morgan Stanley, prompting a probe by the company’s human resources department.
“[I’ll] show the huge pile of STD bills you have accumulated during COVID to everyone,” Shive, a dentist, allegedly threatened in January 2022.
“You should use a condom for your own sake,” the missive continued. “You might want to find a cleaner hooker, as well.”
The pair signed a prenuptial agreement and got hitched in 2005, but the relationship began deteriorating in 2018, said a rep for Beriau, who spent more than 15 years at Merrill Lynch as a trader and hedge funder before he claims he was forced to switch jobs in May.
The couple, who didn’t have any kids, shared a home in posh Oyster Bay, LI, where they kept a boat in the driveway before Beriau — an avid big game hunter who often goes on safari in Africa — moved to Manhattan.
The messages were sent to Beriau at his company email address, according to the lawsuit. Beriau’s lawyer noted the account is monitored by Beriau’s superiors and the messages could be seen by his assistant and others.
One email said: “[It] seems like you don’t want a divorce and are dragging it out, to no end. I will never take you back, you are gross. I know you have bipolar disorder and traumatic brain injury and are not capable of rational thought.”
In another nasty note, Shive accused Beriau of having “herpes, syphilis, trichomoniasis and various other problems … There is no greater proof of your severe mental illness than the fact you continue to use my address when you get treatment for STD’s [sic].”
She also told Beriau’s affluent clients and his relatives he was being investigated for securities fraud, he charged in the litigation.
Shive knew the messages were false when she sent them, Beriau said in his Manhattan Supreme Court case against his ex.
“The contents of the emails were entirely fabricated and false,” said Beriau’s lawyer, Karen McGuire. “Those emails to him were out of left field. And he’s a very patient, very professional gentleman that thought that this would de-escalate, but it didn’t.”
Shive flouted a court order in the divorce proceeding directing her to stop communicating with Beriau, and was forced to pay a fine last year, according to McGuire and court records show. McGuire wouldn’t reveal the amount of the fine.
“He wanted to respectfully separate from his wife,” McGuire said. “This didn’t have to go like this, but it did.”
Neither Shive nor her lawyer returned messages for comment.