After a whirlwind romance, she married real-estate developer Thomas James Burris on August 31, 1980, in the Crystal Room of the Beverly Hills Hotel. Burris, divorced with an 18-year-old son, was nine years her senior. A new song performed by Carpenter at the ceremony, "Because We Are in Love", was released in 1981. Burris concealed from Carpenter, who desperately wanted children, the fact that he had undergone a vasectomy. Their marriage did not survive the deceit. The marriage ended after 14 months.
Tom Burris, Karen's husband, didn't have the same name as stated in the film nor did they divorce. Karen was still married to Tom (Bob) and was due to sign the final divorce papers the day she died. It is very likely that Tom's name was changed due to a gag order that the Carpenter family put in place to keep Burris from profiting off his brief marriage to Karen. In her divorce settlement Karen was going to give him USD $1,000,000. In her own words "He can have the million and then it's good riddance!"
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