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Victoria Zdrok Back in Court

WEST CHESTER, Pa — Alexander Zdrok told a Chester County judge Tuesday, that his $50,000 settlement with ex-wife and adult film star, Victoria Zdrok, was fraudulent because she misrepresented her financial situation during the December trial.

Common Pleas Judge Jacqueline Carroll Cody was not convinced. Cody denied Alexander Zdrok’s motion to set aside the settlement and granted Victoria Zdrok’s petition to enforce the settlement agreement.

“Make no mistake about it, there is nothing more for you to litigate concerning her profits from selling her body on the Internet or anywhere else,” Cody said.

Alexander Zdrok filed suit in February 2001, on the grounds that his ex-wife shortchanged him of more than $100,000 in proceeds. The lawsuit focused on a 1996 divorce property settlement, in which Victoria Zdrok, a West Chester University graduate who was Playboy’s “Miss October 1994,” agreed to pay her ex-husband 15 percent of earnings from her “pictorials, television, national and international films” and related business ventures for the next decade.

On Dec. 9, the parties reached an in-court settlement: Alexander Zdrok agreed to drop the lawsuit and cancel the property settlement for $50,000.

But on Tuesday morning, he said that it was not enough.

Alexander Zdrok said that, at the time the suite was settled, his ex-wife claimed to be living at the “poverty level.” Just 10 days later, on Dec. 19, he said that he learned that she was to be named Penthouse magazine’s “Pet of the Year 2004,” a distinction that comes with a $100,000 prize.

She was featured in the June 2003 issue of Penthouse magazine.

Alexander Zdrok filed a motion to set aside settlement and grant other relief on Jan. 14, one day after the Penthouse issue featuring his ex-wife appeared on newsstands.

Alexander Zdrok was represented by West Chester attorney Samuel C. Stretton because his attorney in the matter, Elliot Goldberg of Florida, was not available.

“I was talked into the settlement by Mr. Goldberg,” Zdrok said, “Based on the misrepresentations made by the defendant, I came to think that it was the best thing to do.”

Stretton argued Victoria Zdrok misrepresented her finances and failed to disclose her sources of revenue during the trial.

Alexander Zdrok testified that during settlement negotiations in December, his former wife said she was getting out of the adult entertainment business and was considering filing bankruptcy.

On the contrary, Stretton said that, Victoria Zdrok’s career was booming.

He said she continued to profit substantially from “flesh cards, Web site deals, book deals and pornography-type videos.”

Stretton pointed to Victoria Zdrok’s recent appearance on the “The Howard Stern Show,” during which, he said, she described her business ventures.

Cody warned Stretton to stay on topic. “You are limited to what you pleaded and you are way beyond,” Cody told Stretton.

When Stretton presented a print of a photograph displayed on Victoria Zdrok’s Web site, planetvictoria.com, Cody reacted with disgust.

“Don’t hand up those types of photographs to me,” she said. “Take it back. I don’t need to see those.”

Stretton said he was not trying to embarrass the court, but that the photos were necessary to the case.

Cody warned him again.

She refused to let Stretton enter the photographs or the Jan. 13 issue of Penthouse, as evidence. She did allow a selection of the magazine, with censored pictorials, to be admitted.

In closing, Stretton said, “Previous council and the defendant were not candid with the plaintiff and were not candid with the court. She did not live up to her end of the bargain.”

But Victoria Zdrok said exactly the opposite.

She was represented by Philadelphia attorney John D’Angelo because her previous attorney, business partner Stephen Sloca, was disqualified during the trial.

“For the plaintiff to come before you today and say that he was duped and misled is really stretching credibility,” D’Angelo said.

He argued it was a very limited issue, “a purely a legal issue.”

D’Angelo said his client had paid the $50,000 compensation, as was stipulated in the agreement.

“Mr. Zdrok is trying to litigate over what happened on Dec. 9,” he said.

Victoria Zdrok testified she did not know that she was going to be named Pet of the Year until after the settlement.

She said that the contest was uncertain and her chances of winning were unlikely.

“I didn’t think that I would ever win Pet of the Year because I was 30 years old,” Victoria Zdrok said.

D’Angelo He said that Alexander Zdrok wanted to renege on the settlement only because he saw that he could get more.

Cody agreed.

“Mr. Zdrok is feeling unhappy that he made a bad bet,” she said. “It is apparent that he wishes he had looked at her chances as being more likely (to win Pet of the Year).”

Cody said that she did not consider Victoria Zdrok entirely truthful, but that there was no evidence that she would have know that she was going to receive $100,000 at the time of the settlement.

“I thought it was over last time. I am disappointed and surprised to see the two of you back here,” she told both parties, “But I maintain my optimism, not just that this case is over, but also that you will go on to live happy and healthy lives.”

Alexander Zdrok indicated that he would not appeal the decision.

Victoria Zdrok, who has a law degree and a doctorate in psychology, said that she plans to “phase out” her adult entertainment career.

“I think I’ve exhausted all my options by now,” she said. “I am ready to venture into other things.”
 

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