Former exec settles with matchmaking service over bad dates

PHILADELPHIA — A retired corporate executive said in a lawsuit that she spent $150,000 on a matchmaking service that set her up with a string of highly incompatible suitors, including men who were married, mentally unstable or felons.

Darlene Daggett, former president for U.S. commerce for the West Chester-based home shopping channel QVC, settled the lawsuit against Corte Madera, California-based Kelleher International hours after it was filed in federal court last week, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer (http://bit.ly/2vmkpoc ).

Kelleher chief executive Amber Kelleher-Andrews, a former actress who appeared on "Baywatch" and "Melrose Place," said in a statement to the newspaper that her company is responsible for thousands of marriages over the years.

"It doesn't always work out," Kelleher-Andrews told the newspaper. She said her company works to end courtships "fairly and reasonably."

According to the lawsuit, the 62-year-old Daggett, a divorced mother of four, wanted someone to spend her retirement with, and she felt "social dating sites did not provide her with the degree of screening and privacy she was looking for."

She said she paid $150,000 for a "CEO Level" membership with Kelleher International that guaranteed her matches from around the globe but then endured a series of bad courtships that fell short of what the dating service promised.

Her attorneys described one match as an Australian entrepreneur who took Daggett on trips to Panama and Costa Rica. She said the man started a new trip around the world with his ex the same day she flew home from Panama, something she didn't learn about until a year later.

Another match was revealed to be a disgraced New York judge who was censured for sleeping with an attorney, court records show.

Another said he was waiting for his terminally ill wife to die before he began dating again, her lawsuit alleged.

A match from Charlottesville, Virginia claimed he suffered from trauma that caused him to lie uncontrollably, according to the suit. Daggett said she later pursued a stalking complaint when the relationship turned sour. That suitor is now awaiting sentencing on a $10.5 million federal bank fraud case.

Daggett also dated a senior executive of a Fortune 500 company for months, and he spent Thanksgiving and Christmas at her home, but then he dropped their relationship without explanation, she said. The lawsuit refers to him only as "the Serial Lothario."

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