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Now that she’d turned Jenny’s criminal case over to Maddie, Alex was focused on the dissolution of the Wentworth-Porter Gallery partnership. She called Bette to schedule a meeting but instead of going to the office Bette suggested that she and Tina have dinner with Alex at the Planet.
After they finished their entrees, and the table was cleared they split a bottle of wine and told the server to leave them undisturbed until they signaled when ready for coffee and dessert. Alex started the conversation by asking Bette what she wanted to do.
“Sever all ties with Kelly, and I suppose that means giving up the gallery. What else can I do?”
“Bette you’re an equal partner, your name has given credibility and stature to the Wentworth-Porter Gallery that all of Kelly’s millions couldn’t buy. You love the gallery business, you’re an icon in the artworld and you have clout. Why would you give that up when you’ve done nothing wrong?”
“What I did wrong is not listen to Tina. She didn’t trust Kelly and warned me about making a snap decision, but I argued. I guess I was so eager to get back into the gallery business I got caught up and fell into her trap.”
“Babe, I just didn’t trust her around you and I was right about that, but I agree with Alex getting into the gallery business wasn’t a mistake. It’s what you love.”
“Alex, do you think I have any legal standing if Kelly made me a business partner as part of a personal agenda?”
“Bette, I don’t doubt that Kelly Wentworth came to Los Angeles with an agenda. Maybe she’s gay or bisexual or just wanting a dalliance into an alternative lifestyle. Maybe she realized she’d made a mistake in college by rejecting you and wants to rectify it. Whatever the reason she came after you is irrelevant. You signed on as a business partner. You invested your knowledge, your reputation, and status which has proven its worth. The Porter name and your connections is what attracts clients of high caliber. From what you’ve told me of Kelly’s sexual proclivities, she’s already in breach of the moral’s clause. This isn’t about ‘buyer’s remorse’ Bette. You didn’t do anything wrong. You’re the victim here. She’s bad for business and now that she’s set her sights on you the business is in jeopardy. Your business partner is a sexual predator that made inappropriate sexual advances towards you. Her actions put the business at risk. She’s created a hostile work environment where you are not able to function in your full capacity as a partner or feel safe in her company.”