Exclusive: Part 2 DivorceTanya Young Williams
The Divorce – A 19 year old woman, PacMan Jones and Social Media
The divorce rate in America teeters around 41 percent for first marriages, 60 percent for second marriages and 73 percent for third marriages. Therefore, when I learn of another marriage failing between a professional athlete and his spouse I chalk it up to just another sad statistic. As I navigate through my own uncharted waters of a pending divorce from a former NBA All-Star, and a recently released prison inmate, my biggest concern is for the overall welfare of my amazing daughters. Whenever, a divorcing couple has children, no matter what the circumstances surrounding the necessity for the divorce, I immediately think of the children and the immediate and potentially long term effects divorce has on their lives. So when I read about Deion and Pilar Sanders divorcing, once again, I thought of their three children (ages 8, 10, 12) and hoped for the best.
Celebrity divorces are oftentimes messy and fodder for tabloids. But Deion and Pilar’s horrid divorce has gone from a civil procedure to a criminal matter. On April 23, 2012, Pilar Sanders was arrested, charged and booked on a Misdemeanor Domestic Violence charge for a fight she and her husband had in their Prosper Texas mansion. Days later, Deion was also charged with Misdemeanor Simple Assault (a judge has since dropped the charges against both parties). Once again, my concern is for the children and my disgust towards the parents behavior. When violence happens in a home with children, they are in the middle of a warzone. With domestic violence, the children are always the victims whether they are physically assaulted on not.
The life and persona of professional athlete is so large, that it is almost impossible not to become completely immersed and absorbed in his world, yet Pilar, like so many other “sports wives” found herself on the outside trying to figure out where she fit into Deion’s world. She claims that she supported his dreams throughout the 14 years of marriage, oftentimes putting her aspirations on the back-burner. Her choice to support her husband is not unlike the choices many married women make, where there spouses are professional athletes or blue collar workers. Therefore, it is painful and scary when divorce becomes the end-product of years of marriage. Pilar Sanders did not want to get a divorce although her marriage had many problems. She was caught off guard when she learned that Deion filed for divorce and announced it publicly via Facebook.
Q: How long had your marraige been troubled before you learned that Deion filed for divorce
A: We were not on our way to get a divorce. We had spoken about it some time here and there but at that point we were not in a fight, we were not getting a divorce, we had just come from the Hall of Fame, we had just been on a road trip with seven charter buses with kids and families. It wasn’t that type of party whatsoever. Then one day, he meets me in the garage and gives me divorce papers. I say wow are you serious. He says, ‘you can have everything, I just want the house. You can have everything inside, you can have money, the kids, just leave me the house. I said wow, if that’s what you want to do. He gave me divorce papers in September but he never filed so it was a mind game… He says that he didn’t tell the media about the divorce in September and I believed him. He then tells the media that we are not getting a divorce.
Q: There have been online rumors that Deion was having an affair with a 19 year old woman and assisted by his friend Pac-Man Jones. Is there any truth to this?
A: A girl tweeted myself and someone else pictures of her in a hotel room with one hand on his back and tweeted text messages that had been exchanged. So I just happened to be on twitter that night and I saw it and I woke Deion up and asked, “is this you” and he said “yeah that’s me, that’s me but they must have photo-shopped that hand in there I don’t know who that is.” Im very calm and understanding, and probably too compassionate and said “o.k., you just got caught out there and you need to figure out what your story is because obviously you are not telling me the truth and I’m sure this is going to hit mainstream soon” and I kinda left. He never really got a reaction out of me. I got about six different stories and none of the stories ever matched. Time passes and I’m still at the house, still cooking dinner and we are at a football year-end banquet and he’s not there, I’m there with the children and people start coming up to me and asking me how I’m doing regarding the divorce. My reaction is ‘no, that’s old. That’s news from September. They said no he posted it on Facebook. I said ‘he doesn’t have a Facebook account, he hadn’t had one the entire time. To me that was very chic-like. Its very girlish. I’ve never known a man to do anything like that. A lot of little things he had been doing were female inspired.
Q: How did you learn of the alleged 19 year old mistress?
A: I found out that one of the mainstream media outlets said they were breaking a story about him cheating with this 18 year old girl and he said none of this is true, but one of the smaller African-American outlets had already gotten to it and proven it, but he said it doesn’t matter because we are going to get a divorce anyway and then it appeared on Facebook. I now realized that our divorce was the only story that could trump the story of his cheating with an 18 year old so he used that. After that, we was trying to get me out of the house by doing really nasty things like moving my stuff around in the house putting my things in the garage. Having kids come over and move my stuff. Anything you can think of that’s what he did.
Q: How did your children learn of the divorce?
A: He began to speak very ill of me to my sons. He began giving my sons copies of our divorce papers, every motion admitted, he would give my sons copies and he would have them sitting down reading them. He would go line by line with the papers and send my children up to me and my boys would be crying and getting mad saying ‘ why would you say daddy abused you, why would you say daddy does this and daddy does that.” and I said where did you get this’ and then they hand me the papers and my mouth dropped. What adult, what sane person would do this? Its against our county law for you to discuss this stuff with your children. There are family rules – every single rule he discounted and threw to the side – he never got in trouble – nothing ever happened, so he continued to do more and more and more, kept pushing the envelope because no one could stop him.
Q: Will pre-nup hold?
A: I’m not quite sure about that. Evil can only hold for so long. The pre-nup agreement was filled with nothing but ill-intent. After reading it and understanding it, and understanding that the people who were drawing it up and people who signed off on it, legally were not even qualified to make a decision. They were on the stand recently and didn’t even know what the pre-nup said. The lawyer, my pre-nup lawyer was called by Deion’s side during the hearing and I see them high-fiving afterward and my pre-nup lawyer asked Deion for an autograph, I thought, ‘really’ … If the pre-nup stood, it would basically grant us a million and I had to explain to my children what that means. And that wouldn’t include a home for my kids or lawyer fees. I was a lot younger than him and he had done this before. He knew the tricks to the trade that he obviously knew I wasn’t privy to.