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Tabloid Fodder The 11 Most Controversial Sports Divorces Of All Time
Chad Johnson’s wife, Evelyn Lozada,
filed for divorce on Tuesday after a domestic dispute between the two ended with Johnson’s arrest. Lozada told police that Johnson headbutted her, and while the case is still being investigated, they’re splitting up after just 41 days of marriage.
The incident has been incredibly tough on Johnson, who has had no off-the-field conduct issues his entire career. Despite this, he was
cut from the Miami Dolphins as a result of the fiasco.
Johnson’s not the first athlete to find himself in an ugly divorce. And, because the world of pro sports produces big egos, big paychecks, and sometimes-messy off-the-field relationships, he certainly won’t be the last.
Here are 11 of the most controversial sports splits of all time.
1.Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren
The Tiger Woods/Elin Nordegren split started ugly, ended ugly, and was ugly in the middle.
It all began when Woods crashed his car into a tree in late 2009. Rumors were already swirling of a Woods affair, and then we learned that Elin actually attacked Tiger that night. Slowly, more and more details of that night began to come out. Women began coming out of the woodwork and claiming to have slept with Woods. Quickly, Tiger became the villain, and stepped back from playing golf for four months, as his public image took a huge hit.
One of the more memorable images of Tiger Woods divorce was the apology speech he gave. About three months after the incident between Tiger and Elin occurred, he delivered these words to his family, friends, and wife, in Florida.
2.Tony Parker and Eva Longoria
The marriage of Tony Parker and actress Eva Longoria ended with controversy and very personal rumors.
The couple was married for three years, but in 2010, Longoria filed for a divorce. When did things get ugly? That happened when Eva claimed to have found Parker texing another woman. That other woman, however, was Erin Barry, wife of Parker's teammate Brent. As these rumors circulated, news of a divorce between Brent and Erin became public. Barry and Parker were teammates in San Antonio from 2004-2008, and Barry's career ended in 2009 when he retired, before both men began their respective divorces.
3.Martin Brodeur and Melanie Dubois
When Martin Brodeur retires, he may go down as the greatest goaltender to ever have played the game of hockey.
His divorce with ex-wife Melanie, however, garnered him some more negative attention.
The situation between Martin, Melanie, and sister-in-law Genevive was quite bizarre. Martin had married Melanie in 1995. The couple had four kids. Everything seemed to be going well. But during the Devils' Stanley Cup run in 2003, Melanie filed for a divorce. Her reason? Genevieve Nault was married to Melanie's brother.
Brodeur was apparently having an affair with Genevive (yes, his sister-in-law). Martin and Melanie divorced, and then the all-star goalie eloped with Genevive. The two are currently married, with a child of their own.
4.Roman Abramovich and Irina Vyacheslavovna Malandina
Roman Abramovich was the 53rd richest person in the world. The Russian billionaire had a net worth of $12.1 billion in 2012, according to Forbes. The wealthy businessman was the owner of Chelsea F.C., and had been married to wife Irina for 16 years, with five children. Everything was perfect in his life, right? Well, it was, until 2009.
That was when Irina accused Roman of having an affair with 24-year-old model Daria Zhukova. Roman vehemently denied the allegations, until this bit of evidence: Daria gave birth to Roman's sixth child, squashing any speculation that he wasn't involved in adulterous behavior.
Roman and Irina divorced, and the billionaire paid her the sum of $300 million, making it one of the all-time most expensive divorce settlements. (Abramovich is still the owner of Chelsea.)
5.Michael Strahan and Jean Muggli
While Michael Strahan's divorce seemed like it was straight out of a movie, the ugly falling out between the former New York Giant and Jean Muggli was all too true.
In 2006, Jean accused Strahan of having an extramarital affair... with another man. Strahan immediately came out and denied the allegations, also saying he wasn't gay. It was then Michael who filed for a divorce.
The two went through an ugly two-year proceeding that found itself on the front pages of many a New York tabloid. Jean also accused Michael of other affairs (with women), and in the end, was granted $15.3 million per a prenuptial agreement the two had signed.
6.Jeff Gordon and Brooke Sealey
Jeff Gordon and Brooke Sealey may have had a storybook beginning, but it didn't end well.
Gordon met Sealey in the Daytona 500's Victory Lane after winning a race in 1994. The two were married for seven years, but then an alleged affair between Gordon and Playboy model Deanna Merryman spelled the couple's end. Brooke filed for a divorce in 2001, and then made the incident especially controversial when her lawyers tried to subpoena Gordon's NASCAR records to better estimate his worth. In the end, Sealey walked away with just over $15 million.
7.Tiki Barber and Ginny Cha
Tiki Barber has made plenty of headlines since walking away from football in 2006. In 2008, Tiki began engaging in an affair with a 21-year-old college student
Traci Lynn Johnson. Then, late in 2009, Tiki finally revealed to his wife Ginny that he was cheating on her.
At the time, Barber's wife was pregnant with twins, after already giving birth to both of Tiki's sons. With Ginny eight months pregnant, Tiki divorced her, only to turn around and marry his mistress eight days later. Few athletes have gone from being so well-though-of by the media to being so widely ridiculed.
8.Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe
Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe were two of the biggest stars of their times in their respective fields. Their marriage made them an all-time power couple, but the two wouldn't even make it a year into matrimony.
DiMaggio was apparently tweaked by the "phoniness of the movie industry," and was not happy that Monroe was cast into the roll of "blonde bombshell." Basically, he was upset everyone was eye-balling his lady.
The tipping point for the two may have come during one of Monroe's more iconic moments. The actress was shooting a scene for "The Seven Year Itch," and the classic scene standing above the subway grate with the wind blowing her skirt up. DiMaggio walked onto the set—where almost 200 people were watching—and said, "What the hell's going on here?"
The two filed for a divorce soon after that, and reports came out that DiMaggio had beat Monroe after shooting that famous scene. They were married for only nine months.
9.Ashley Cole and Cheryl Tweedy
Ashley Cole's stories of infidelity can be compared to just about any out there. The left-back who plays for Chelsea (we're beginning to see a pattern here) was married to Cheryl Tweedy for four years, and apparently was not faithful for much of that time. Tweedy filed for divorce in 2010 after she said she couldn't take it anymore.
Five women came forward and said they had slept with Ashley Cole when he was married to Tweedy, and more were suspected. In the end, Tweedy received a divorce settlement of just over $7 million.
10.Steve Garvey and Cyndy Truhan
Steve Garvey was known as "Mr. Clean" during his 13-year tenure on the Dodgers for his great public reputation. The first baseman married his college sweetheart, Cyndy, and the two had been married for 13 years.
In 1983, though, Cyndy ran away to New York with composer Marvin Hamlisch. Womanless, Garvey began a relationship with his secretary Judy Ross. Then, Cyndy came back and trashed Ross' office with a baseball bat. Yikes.
Things only got uglier when Cyndy allegedly shoved Garvey's mother Millie at a Little League game. (Cyndy would later claim Millie spat on her.) The two were divorced in 1983, and just like that, Mr. Clean's reputation had changed.
11.Jason Kidd and Joumana Samaha
Jason Kidd and Joumana Samaha were married for 10 years, and, according to
Kidd's divorce papers, much of that time was a nightmare.
Kidd filed for a divorce in 2007, accusing his wife of "extreme cruelty." Kidd said his wife mentally and physically abused him, threatening to come out with false abuse charges against the all-star point guard. There were many reported bizarre incidents between the two.
During a Nets game in 2007, Joumana used her eight-year-old son to gain access to the Nets locker room to swipe Jason's cell phone. Then, she left her son in the locker room to go take her courtside seat for the game, only to yell taunts at Jason for 48 minutes. Kidd also alleged Joumana installed tracking devices on his car and computer, and physically abused him at times.
In 2001, when Kidd was playing for the Suns, he was arrested in a domestic dispute issue. Kidd plead guilty to hitting his wife in an argument over their two-year-old son, and paid a $200 fine.
There are many other rumored stories outlining the pair's contentious relationship. Needless to say, it looked like a split was the right move for both.