Eugenia Tate Courtney was born on the family estate outside Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on February 19, 1977, to Robert and Aurora Tate Courtney.
Growing up in a privileged home with servants and the best of everything, Eugenia was born to marry well. Her beauty, grace, and style made her extremely popular, and her Cordon Bleu cooking skills and decorating course achievements were an investment for the future.
When she caught the eye and then the heart of up-and-coming attorney Blake Stillwater, it seemed a marriage made if not in heaven, then in the drawing rooms of the upper echelons of Southern society. Eugenia was one of the loveliest Southern brides of 1997, and after they married, the young couple settled in Chicago.
Eugenia soon made friends and joined in the rounds of parties and charity fundraisers. She devoted herself to decorating their home and took pride in locating unusual fabrics from sources all over the world that her decorator used in the formal living and dining rooms. Her effort was well worth it, as the Stillwaters' Chicago home was featured in a five-page spread in a decorating magazine in July 1999.
The next month she gave birth to her son, Philip "Scooter" Stillwater, on August 3. His nursery was a fantasy world with murals that were updated as he grew, with the scenes changing from puppies and pixies to outer space themes. Scooter loved nature and enjoyed chasing bugs, butterflies, and spiders.
Over time, both Eugenia and Blake found that they missed the warmth of the South. After publishing his first novel, Blake decided to move his family to Oxford, Mississippi, which he saw as the Southern renaissance center of writing. While her husband worked part-time as a lawyer and concentrated on his writing, Eugenia set about overhauling the magnificent antebellum mansion they had both fallen in love with at first sight.
Eugenia has renovated the home twice since they bought it in 2006. The first renovation included installing a swimming pool, where Scooter and his friends loved to splash and where Eugenia and Blake often had a romantic swim on hot moonlit nights. The second added a laboratory behind the poolside cottage where Scooter could indulge his growing interest in entomology.
From the outside, Eugenia appears to live a charmed life, but she confided in friends that her high-profile husband has strayed more than once over the years. He rarely takes her with him on his frequent promotional tours. When he's not traveling, Blake spends most nights in a bedroom next to the study where he writes rather than with Eugenia.
Despite Eugenia's regular workouts with a personal trainer, her eyelid lift in 2020, her Dead Sea mud spa treatments, and her regular hair coloring sessions, she's convinced that Blake is now seeing a younger woman. A few months ago, she told friends that Blake had said he would be in Jackson overnight to do some research. Before he left and again when he returned, she checked the mileage on his Range Rover and found he'd barely driven out of town.
After that incident, Eugenia's spirits plummeted, and she and her physician discussed ways of lightening her mood without medication. While mired in that state of mind, she walked out of a jewelry store with an expensive gold bracelet she'd been trying on still on her wrist. The store's new manager, who didn't know Eugenia, called the police.
Eugenia was arrested and charged, but intervention from Blake and their attorneys, along with a letter from her physician detailing her depression, led to all charges being dropped.
Since then, Eugenia has been keeping a low profile around town. She still attends the expected charity and social events and regularly visits her hair salon for various beauty treatments, but her friends haven't seen much of her outside of those occasions.