Leonard Kip Rhinelander was a member of one of New York's wealthiest families. He married Alice Jones, a chambermaid, after the two had been involved in a three year romance. After a month of marriage and under pressure from his family, Rhinelander sought an annulment on the grounds that Alice had concealed her race (her mother was white, her father was of "mixed" race). During the trial, the court required Alice to disrobe on the witness stand for examination of her skin. The court wanted the jury to inspect the color of her nipples. Alice won the case because the court ruled that Alice had not been fraudulent about her racial identity, that she was indeed "colored" and that Rhinelander must have known she was not white.
Alice then filed a separate suit for separation from her husband claiming abandonment, and she sued his father claiming that he ruined her marriage. Alice received $31,500 plus $3,600 payable quarterly for the rest of her life. Rhinlander died in 1936, Alice died in 1989.