BY JOSE MARTINEZ DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Thursday, October 18th 2007, 4:00 AM
Breaking up with her fiancé was easy, but parting with the diamond ring has been tougher.
A Manhattan man is suing his ex-girlfriend for refusing to relinquish her grip on the $38,800 platinum engagement ring he bought her last year.
Dean Kuehnen wants Andria Castellano to return the 3.23-carat ring before she can follow through on an alleged threat to “sell or dispose” of it.
The couple split up last month.
“[The] marriage has not occurred and will not occur,” the suit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court says.
Kuehnen, 32, popped the question to Castellano, 24, two days before Christmas last year at the Jersey Shore, giving her a platinum ring topped off by a square emerald-cut diamond and 160 tiny round diamonds in a pave setting.
Earlier, a Diamond District jeweler appraised it at $38,800.
The suit demands that Castellano return the ring or that she pay $38,800 to her ex-flame, who likely has New York law on his side.
“As long as it was given as a true engagement gift, he has a very good chance of getting it back,” said Carlin Meyer, a professor at New York Law School.
Lara Ott, a lawyer for Kuehnen, declined to comment on the suit or what led to the breakup.
Castellano could not be reached for comment, but a relative who spoke outside her Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, building confirmed the dispute and said, “They’re trying to work through it.”
While she was a student at Boston University, Castellano was quoted in the Boston Herald as saying she preferred “guys’ guys” over “bland, boring guys.”
“I always get my heart broken,” Castellano was quoted as saying. “That’s the price you pay.”
With Oren Yaniv and Tamer El-Ghobashy
(Note: The article tactfully does not note that Andrea Castellano is the granddaughter of Paul Castellano. As the NY Post points out, “Paul Castellano was gunned down outside the Sparks Steak House in Midtown in 1985, paving the way for John Gotti to seize control of the Gambino family.”)