Sole Sister Editorial: Shoe Battle

We’re so excited to feature an editorial this week from our intern Elizabeth, a Public Relations major at the University of Texas at Austin. After reading this recent article, Elizabeth decided to write her own sole sister shoe-opinion.

Kramer vs. Kramer: The Shoe Version
By Elizabeth Jones

All my possessions for a moment in time.” –Queen Elizabeth I

Here’s a riddle: What do a professional poker player, a millionaire hedge-fund manager, and a million dollar shoe closet all have in common? Give up? They are all at the center of a custody battle involving a shoe closet.

Dan and Beth Shak divorced three years ago.  It was not until last year that Dan Shak claims that he found out about a hidden treasure trove of designer shoes estimated to be worth over $1 million that belonged to his now ex-wife. In light of this new discovery, Dan Shak is demanding 35% of the shoe collection, saying that it should be part of their divorce settlement.

Beth Shak insists that her ex-husband knew about the closet, and its value the whole time. She says that the lawsuit over the shoe closet is harassment and that she will “vehemently defend” herself.

Who is telling the truth? To me, this could have played two ways: Mr. Shak knew about the shoe closet the entire time, but only recently found out its worth and decided to feign ignorance so he can make a quick buck (the man is a hedge-fund manager after all).

Or, Mr. Shak had no idea the closet ever existed, because his wife kept her private collection a secret, and once discovering the worth of this closet, Dan Shak decided to file a lawsuit for 35% of the shoes in order to emerge as the final victor in the divorce settlement.

The story is a classic case of “He said, she said”, but it raises some ethical concerns as well. Why, after being divorced for three years, is Mr. Shak bringing this up? I guess what I’m trying to say is, why does he care? According to the Deccan Chronicle, Beth Shak is dating someone else. Some might say the ex-husband hasn’t moved on and this lawsuit is his way of holding on the past.

But, if he had known about the shoe closet the whole time, this could be his way of trying to regain control over his wife. What will he do with the shoes if he wins the lawsuit? Will he wear them? Well, maybe, people are getting stranger these days…

My guess is he will sell them, which for any shoe-loving woman, is like asking for their first-born.

There is also (at least to me) a theme of excess in this story. 1.200 pairs of shoes might seem excessive to some folks, especially when there are homeless women who struggle to find (and keep) decent, wearable shoes everyday.  Yes, all her shoes are very expensive. Yes, she has way more shoes than most women. But is it worth a lawsuit? I think what Mr. and Mrs. Shak need to do is take a step back and think about what this battle is really about.