Cowtown Babylon

When Fort Worth oil tycoon Tex Moncrief accused his secretary of embezzlement, she says, he left out one important detail: their 16-year affair

"I used to pick out gifts for the wives and the mistresses too," Lloyd recalls during a recent interview in the Dallas office of her attorney, Robert Hinton.

It was at the club that Lloyd met Tex and his father, W.A. Moncrief Sr.--known as Monty or Mr. Senior--who in the 1930s first wildcatted his way to vast wealth in the East Texas oil fields, along with H.L. Hunt and Sid Richardson. Working side by side with his father for four decades, Tex, an obdurate man whose deep voice resonates with a West Texas drawl, expanded the family fortune, particularly with his discovery of the massive Madden gas field in Wyoming in 1972. In 1995, Forbes estimated his net worth at $300 million; his assets include vacation homes in Palm Springs and in Gunnison, Colorado, and a 15,000-acre Texas ranch.

Dressed in black shorts and a white T-shirt, a gold cross hanging around her neck, Lloyd looks much, much older now than the leggy young woman in the orange miniskirt standing next to some golf equipment in the Shady Oaks pro shop: a photo of her in her early 30s that became "defendant's exhibit 2" in Lloyd's trial.

It was this woman with the flowing dark hair who caught Tex's eye, Hinton says, though one source associated with the prosecution team observed, "Even in those days, she wasn't what I'd call a looker. A rich man like Moncrief would have done better. But you couldn't say that to the jury without offending the women."

In 1976, when the Shady Oaks golf pro decided to let her go, Tex and Monty offered Lloyd a job at Montex Drilling, the family oil business. By that time, she was divorced and raising a then-10-year-old daughter.

There are about 35 employees in the Fort Worth home office, which oversees oil and gas exploration in Texas, Louisiana, Wyoming, and elsewhere in the western United States. As personal secretary to Tex and his father, Lloyd was responsible for maintaining their personal checking accounts and attending to bookkeeping and other duties, such as keeping up payments on their hundreds of oil leases.

Fellow employees testifying at Lloyd's trial, which took place at the Tarrant County Justice Center before Visiting Judge R.E. Thornton, described Lloyd as an affable, pleasant co-worker who became good friends with several other women who worked there.

But, she claimed when she nervously took the stand, there was another, secret side to her office life.

It began in 1979, just after a staff trip on the company jet to Reno. "Tex and I had feelings for each other," she told the jury as Hinton guided her through her testimony.

At the beginning it was "sit and have a Coke with him, talk, hug, kiss." About three months into the affair, she said, they began a sexual relationship. "The first time was on his desk in his office" after the rest of the staff went home, she told the jury. From there, it moved to a small sofa in Tex's office, then a larger sofa in his father's office; it then became an almost routine rendezvous at her home, a smallish tan brick bungalow in Edgecliff Village, a 1960s-era suburb just south of Fort Worth.

Lloyd described how their meetings would often go: "If his wife was gone, then he would want to see me that afternoon. He said what time he would be there, and I'd be there. I was to leave my garage door up, and he would pull into the garage, push the button on the garage door, and he came through the garage into my home."

Moncrief, who told the jury he never had anything more than a business relationship with Lloyd, said in a recent interview with the Dallas Observer, "She's a liar. It's all lies."

In court, Tarrant County prosecutor Charles Brandenberg, a specialist in economic crimes, prodded Lloyd to explain why she had not a single Valentine card or any other written proof to back up her story of an affair.

Moncrief, she said, was not the kind of man to send Valentines, and what little written proof she had of their affair she'd destroyed when she left town.

In an interview, Lloyd described Tex both as a gentleman with a "soft side" and as someone who could be hard and cruel.

She said he took great interest in publicity in 1991 about a young, attractive personal aide to Fort Worth billionaire Perry Bass who had been accused of stealing $2.5 million from her boss--after which the charges were mysteriously dismissed. The woman "could tie these oil-tycoon types around her finger," her ex-husband told the daily paper. "Tex got a big laugh out of that. He thought it was funny," Lloyd remembers.

In court, prosecutor Brandenberg pressed her for further details about "the nature of the sex" she had with Moncrief. Lloyd, in this age of tell-all, was frank: There was "genital sex," and "sometimes he did oral sex. I did not," she told the court.

It went on like this from 1979 until 1995, and never once did anyone see them, she said--not anyone at the office, not anyone in her neighborhood, not even her daughter, who lived with her for six of those years. "He wanted me to be sure I was there and my daughter was gone," Lloyd said, explaining that her daughter was involved in after-school activities such as choir, which meant she didn't get home until Tex had showered and left for his gin rummy game at Shady Oaks.

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