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Outback founder to pay $7,500 monthly for baby

The steakhouse entrepreneur has settled a lawsuit to support his daughter born out of wedlock.

By JEFF TESTERMAN
Published February 9, 2005


TAMPA - Outback Steakhouse founder and chairman Chris T. Sullivan has agreed to provide support and benefits worth more than $1.68-million to settle a paternity suit filed by the promotional director for Hooter's restaurants.

Anna Cladakis, 36, who bore Sullivan's out-of-wedlock daughter, Charitsa, last July, had sought support of $11,000 a month. Sullivan, 56, was paying temporary support of $5,000 a month.

The mediated settlement amount of $7,500 a month could amount to $1.57-million by the time the child reaches the age of 18.

But the $90,000 a year in support won't put Sullivan in the poorhouse.

He claims income of $2.18-million annually, according to court records filed in the case, and is worth more than $153-million.

Sullivan includes in his assets $1.1-million in cash, Outback stock valued at $116-million, a 7,500-square-foot home on Davis Islands worth $3-million and a newly completed 9,000-square-foot vacation home in Pebble Beach, Calif., worth $11.5-million, his financial affidavit says.

According to the settlement filed in Hillsborough Circuit Court last week, Sullivan will pay $6,500 a month to Cladakis for child support. He also will pay another $1,000 a month into a trust to be used at the mother's discretion for the child's non-recurring expenses, including college living costs.

Sullivan also agreed to provide comprehensive health insurance for the child and to pay for a four-year Florida Prepaid College Tuition certificate, two years of prepaid college room expenses, $80,000 for Cladakis' attorneys fees and $17,745 for her accounting fees in the paternity suit.

The attorneys for Sullivan and Cladakis did not return phone calls seeking comment Tuesday.

Cladakis, a Tarpon Springs High School graduate who now resides in a $510,400 Clearwater home, has said previously that she had known Sullivan for 14 years through Hooter's promotional activities when she began dating him in 2003. At the time, Sullivan was in the midst of ending his third marriage.

Cladakis became pregnant in mid October 2003, then filed her paternity action in February 2004, five months before her daughter was born. Two paternity tests put the certainty that Sullivan was the father at greater than 99.99 percent.

Sullivan later said in a sworn deposition that he engaged in unprotected sex with Cladakis only because she insisted she was unable to bear children.

"I relied on the good word of Anna that she could not get pregnant," Sullivan testified. "And Anna, in one of our earlier sexual relationships, removed the condom from me, saying I didn't need that with her."

In the same deposition, Sullivan characterized Cladakis, who has an arrest record for ticket scalping, shoplifting and battery on an ex-boyfriend, as emotionally "very up and down."

She was "not very balanced," Sullivan said. But she was "a fun girl."

Cladakis declined to comment Tuesday.

Sullivan's attorneys claimed Cladakis was attempting to "feather her own nest" with a request in her paternity action for $186,922 for the first-year expenses for the infant. Cladakis said she needed the money for everything from a $4,580 christening party to $900 a month for the baby's clothing.

David A. Maney, Sullivan's attorney, characterized Cladakis' money demands as "shocking" and "absurd," and maintained she was attempting to "improperly derive personal benefit from child support."

But Cladakis said in a recent interview that it was important to her that her child "enjoy the same lifestyle as if she were in Chris Sullivan's arms."

The settlement says Sullivan and Cladakis will share parental responsibility, with the mother providing primary residential care. The agreement also says the child support shall not be modified before the child's fourth birthday or her entrance into prekindergarten.

Jeff Testerman can be reached at testerman@sptimes.com or 813 226-3422.

[Last modified February 9, 2005, 00:42:04]


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