How does that old saying go? "Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned," or as we misquote it: "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."
William Congreve wrote it in 1697 to convey rejecting a woman in love is very risky proposition, to put it mildly. I thought revenge was a dish best served cold, but I guess I'm mistaken.
Charles E. Phillips, president of Oracle Corporation, must have missed that saying growing up.
The former managing director of Morgan Stanley, captain in the Marine Corps, and member of Barack Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board was outed by former mistress YaVaughnie Wilkins, a one-time co-worker at Morgan Stanley.
You'd think with Phillips' education, a JD from New York Law School, an MBA from Hampton University, and a BS in Computer Science from the United States Air Force Academy, he might have heard the "hell hath" phrase.
Wilkins outed Phillips after he ended their eight-and-a-half-year affair.
Not to let her cheating ex-lover get the best of her, Wilkins decided to post billboards of the couple in New York, Atlanta, and San Francisco.
The New York Daily News described one billboard: "Rising above W. 52nd St. near Times Square, the giant sign showed Phillips hugging Wilkins under the words 'Charles and YaVaughnie' and a purported quote from him: 'You are my soulmate forever.'"
At the bottom is the URL for a Web site loaded with pictures from the long-term affair.
Phillips and his wife were supposedly in the midst of divorce proceedings that began in 2008. However, the breakup and lack of progress on the couple's divorce seems to suggest they may have been reconciling.
Apparently, the jilted mistress believed the couple divorced in 2003. She found out from an anonymous tip that the couple were still married after Phillips ended the affair in October 2009. Wilkins then hired a private investigator and found out the couple were still married.
The Web site, according to a close friend of Ms. Wilkins, was intended initially as a birthday present for Phillips.
Knowing a little bit about the outdoor costs in major metro areas, Wilkin's revenge must have cost her some serious dough.
However, she got what she wanted, making Phillips admit his wrongdoings to the public via a release. It read, "I had an eight-and-a-half-year serious relationship with YaVaughnie Wilkins. My divorce proceedings began in 2008. The relationship with Ms. Wilkins has since ended, and we both wish each other well."
Well, at least he wishes her well.
The billboard scandal came at a bad time for Phillips as Oracle finalized a deal to purchase Sun Microsystems. (The European Union regulatory commission stated the deal was unconditionally approved.)
Phillips was the high end of an $800,000 salary for 2009 with compensation valued at over $18 million, so it's a wonder he didn't give Wilkins some shut-your-mouth incentives.
Maybe he just didn't understand another old saying, "All is fair in love and war" (John Lyly, 1578), meaning when special circumstances warrant, there are no rules of engagement.