A local female fishing captain and her rich inventor former boyfriend are entangled in a pair of ugly lawsuits that hint at a violence-filled relationship.
Capt. Lace Allenius, 32, owner of Fishing Adventures With Lace, and Fort Lauderdale multi-millionaire Merrill Brooks Smith, her 62-year-old ex-beau, have been flinging ugly allegations of gold-digging and domestic abuse at each other in a Palm Beach County court.
Smith, known for his pioneering of pre-paid cards and computer point-of-sale technology, and Allenius are headed to a possible trial early next year.
By both their accounts, things between them were hunky dory when they met in 2013. They got so close that, allegedly with Smith’s financial assistance, Allenius packed her bags and her young daughter from a previous relationship and moved to Boynton Beach from St. Petersburg to be closer to Smith.
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In time Smith, who lives in a $10 million mansion on a Las Olas canal, claimed he discovered that Allenius “had a habit of drinking excessively,” he claims in his complaint, and acting violently when drunk.
Things became poisonous when, Smith claims, he cut her off. And it all came to a head at Smith’s fancy mansion, where Allenius was staying in May 2015 while Smith stayed in a hotel.
According to neighbors and a Fort Lauderdale Police report included in the complaint, Allenius was nude when she went on a rampage in his house. She allegedly threw hundreds of items into the canal and caused more than $130,000 in damage inside the house.
Afterwards, according to the lawsuit, Allenius took to Facebook to bad-mouth Smith.
Smith, whose lawyers aren’t returning a call for comment, is suing for defamation and trespassing.
In her counter-claim, meanwhile, Allenius says Smith is the drunk and violence-prone partner, and she claims he made it a habit of belittling her in front of her daughter for things like her sexual behavior and alleged lack of intelligence.
She claims Smith occasionally became physical and caused her to break her ankle and burst her breast implants during fights.
Said Coral Gables attorney Michael Feiler, who reps Allenius: “It takes a lot of courage for a battered woman to come forward like my client did. She will be vindicated.”
She is suing for battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.