Hedge fund CEO's shoe suit against ex-wife bound to backfire

Beth Shak ina closet full of high-heeled pride and joy at her Main Line home in October 2011. SARAH J. GLOVER / FILE PHOTO
Beth Shak ina closet full of high-heeled pride and joy at her Main Line home in October 2011. SARAH J. GLOVER / FILE PHOTO
Posted: June 27, 2012

WEALTHY HEDGE fund CEO Daniel Shak is going after his ex-wife in one of the most lowdown and dirty ways a man can go after a woman.

No, he's not after custody of the kids. He's after the shoes.

Specifically, he wants to get his hands on his ex-wife Beth's extensive collection of designer stilettos.

We're talking Christian Louboutons (a/k/a red bottoms), which start at about $600 and can cost upward of $4,000. Beth owns about 700 pairs of those alone, not to mention numerous pairs by the likes of Walter Steiger, Yves St. Laurent and Jimmy Choo. All together, Beth owns about 1,200 pairs of the designer shoes.

According to Daniel Shak's suit, the existence of which was first reported by the New York Post, the collection is estimated to be worth around $1 million — and Daniel wants his cut, or about 35 percent of the value.

Poor Beth must be shaking in her size 7's.

How did it come to this? Daniel claims that when he and Beth were married, he was unaware of just how large her stash of extravagant stilettos had become. The suit accuses her of hiding them in a "secret room" in the New York City apartment they once shared.

I don't buy it.

Last year, I interviewed Beth for a story on her collection, spending some time with her at her house in Villanova. I quickly discovered what anyone who's ever talked with Beth — heck, anybody who's ever heard of Beth — soon discovers: She's straight-up shoe-crazy. This is a woman who has been the subject of literally dozens of newspaper stories, magazine articles and TV segments, from "The Wendy Williams Show" to NBC's "Today Show" to MTV's "Cribs." She's even in a documentary about shoes called "God Save My Shoes."

Beth told me back then that she started collecting stilettos in her 20s. "All of a sudden, one day, one closet at a time, I was, like, ‘Oh, my God how did this happen?' It wasn't where I set out to say ‘I'm going to have a shoe collection,' " recalled Beth, 42, at the time. "I filled one closet and a second and a third and then I said, ‘This is crazy.' "

Yet, Daniel, who's scheduled to compete in the World Poker series Big One for One Drop tournament in Las Vegas, claims he didn't know.

Huh?

If Daniel didn't know about Beth's obsession, he has issues that no lawsuit is going to fix.

It's hard not to figure that Daniel's sinister shoe grab is more about spite than money or assets or anything else. He wanted to get at her, so he went for something she cherishes — her footwear, which she houses lovingly in a large walk-in closet just off the master bedroom of her richly-appointed Main Line home.

I have to confess that when I visited Beth, I got a little weak-kneed at what I witnessed: shelf after shelf of the most gorgeous footwear I've ever been privileged to touch. It's where I got my first close-up look at a pair of Alexander McQueens, decked out in a rich, sparkly ruby red. And I had to fight off an impulse to shove my (much larger) feet into a pair of custom-made hot-pink platform stilettos by Walter Steiger.

Daniel Shak just doesn't understand. You don't get between a woman and her shoes — especially when they're Christian Louboutins.

I have a feeling, though, that he's about to find out. His mean-spirited shoe grab is going to backfire. In one fell swoop, Dan did what even the best passel of well-shod PR agents would never be able to do. He turned a gorgeous, divorced Main Line one percenter with an obscene number of designer shoes into a sympathetic figure.

Even though most of us don't now own a single pair of red bottoms — and Beth has enough to stock a wing of Nordstrom's — we can relate to a woman done wrong.

Even better: Daniel's timing couldn't have been more perfect — for Beth. She's working on a self-named shoe line (the website is shoesrforever.com) that will debut as early as this summer.

With publicity like this, Daniel couldn't have couldn't have given his ex a better parting gift.


Contact Jenice Armstrong at 215-854-2223 or heyjen@phillynews.com, or follow her on Twitter @jenicearmstrong. Read her blog at philly.com/philly/blogs/dnheyjen/.

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