NFL legend Deion Sanders and his estranged wife, Pilar, are embroiled in a messy divorce that seems destined to get even uglier, and his wife’s attorney told ABCNews.com that his client wants to reconcile with her husband.
“She is heartbroken about the current situation, and she’s been a faithful and devoted wife to Deion Sanders, and she’s been a very supportive wife to him, and she is committed to their marriage and would like to make it work,” Larry Friedman told ABCNews.com in an interview on Monday night. “So she’s very patient and intends to work on the marriage.”
The soon-to-be ex-Mrs. Sanders reportedly first got wind of the divorce from reading about it on the celebrity gossip website, TMZ.
But Deiondra Sanders, 19, Sanders’ daughter from a previous marriage, is openly disputing her stepmother’s claims on Twitter, unleashing a barrage of tweets on Wednesday in which she disparaged her father’s estranged wife, questioned the woman’s commitment to the marriage and her children and labeled her a gold-digger.
“#HowYouDidntKnow but yo boxes have been packed for weeks now,” she wrote, adding a link to a picture that showed several moving boxes, some that appeared to have been filled and closed, and others open with clothing spilling out from the tops.
“NORMALLY I JUST SIT BACK & WATCH ALL HER LIES & MESS BUT ITS TO WHERE SHE’S GETTING PERSONAL. SHE IS TRYING 2 SLANDER MY DADDY NAME. #STOPIT,” she also tweeted.
Pilar Sanders’ attorney has said his client’s top priority has been her marriage and her children. Deiondra Sanders also took issue with that claim.
“#HowYoTopPriorityBeen YO MARRIAGE AND YO KIDS when u flying out of town to see other (n***as) … Yeah We Know.”
She also claimed on Twitter that Pilar Sanders had been so involved in pursuing her own fame that she was neglectful of her children.
Friedman categorically rejected the claim that Pilar Sanders may have been cheating. He called the tweet “absolutely false” and “utterly untrue,” adding that Deiondra Sanders didn’t live in Pilar Sanders’ household and didn’t have the facts about what happened within the marriage.
“Children should be seen and not heard, so that this child should be seen and not heard,” he said.
He added that Pilar Sanders was a devoted mother who took extraordinary care of her children.
“I mean, she gets them up in the morning, she dresses them for school, she makes sure that they’re properly fed,” he said.
Since her husband travels frequently and is often out of town, his client is “the primary parent and has been for 11 and a half years,” Friedman added.
Sanders, who used to play professional football and baseball, filed for the divorce on Dec. 21. Despite the acrimony, the two continue to live under the same roof.
The Sanderses live in a lavish, 40,000-square-foot Texas mansion that sits on a 112-acre ranch. The residence reportedly has two pools, 10 bedrooms and 13 bathrooms.
The couple married in 1999 and have three children together. Deion and Pilar Sanders appeared together in the reality show “Deion & Pilar: Prime Time Love,” which aired on the Oxygen network.
Deion Sanders also has two children from a previous marriage.
On his Facebook page Sunday, Sanders thanked supporters for standing by him and said he would not engage in a public relations battle with his wife or with her attorney, whom he characterized as “ruthless and unethical,” accusing him of a history of engaging in smear tactics to “shake people down for more money.”
He added that his wife was “completely financially secure,” noting that they had an agreement that would allow her to “move on with freedom.”
But Friedman took issue with that statement.
“She’s not aware of any agreement and she’s still operating as if she’s still in the marriage,” he said.
As to Deion Sanders’ comment about him, Friedman acknowledged that he was indeed ruthless in his defense of his clients, but said he had no history of ethical violations.
“I think it’s a compliment in a divorce case when the husband expresses dissatisfaction with the wife’s lawyer,” he said. “Then you know you’re doing a good job for your client.”