NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders will, at least temporarily, get to live in his Texas mansion without his estranged wife and have custody of the couple’s three children, a judge ruled Monday.
The court victory for Sanders, 44, comes after three days of court testimony over a domestic dispute last month at the couple’s $5.7 million Prospect, Texas, home that resulted in a citation for Sanders and a night in jail for his estranged wife, Pilar.
State District Judge Ray Wheless ordered Pilar Sanders, 38, to stay 500 yards away from family’s home and gave Deion temporary custody of the children pending a full custody hearing. The judge ordered that the children undergo psychological counseling.
The couple had continued living together at their sprawling mansion on the outskirts of Dallas even after Deion Sanders filed for divorce from Pilar in December after 13 years of marriage. Their War of the Roses divorce drama came to a head in the April 23 dispute that resulted in Pilar being charged with misdemeanor assault and held overnight in the Collin County Jail.
Deion Sanders, who was cited for misdemeanor assault in the altercation, came under fire for tweeting that Pilar had attacked him and then posting a photo of his two sons, ages 12 and 10, filling out police reports. He later removed the photo from the site.
Sanders defended his actions on ” Good Morning America” in an appearance earlier this month.
“I can’t be alleged the guy that’s lost his mind,” Sanders said. “That’s not who I am or what I am.”
“My son came and said, ‘Daddy, mommy’s called the ambulance, she’s getting to the ambulance, nothing is wrong with her.’ I said, ‘Oh my god, that’s the last thing that I want to see is the first thing the public hear is that I’ve abused my wife,’” Sanders said.
“So sporadically, and quickly, we said, you know, we got to really tell our side of the story first and get it out there and that’s where it came from,” he said of his tweets.
Sanders, who earned the nickname “Primetime” and became an icon in the Dallas area during his five seasons as a cornerback with the Cowboys, took to Twitter again Monday after the judge’s ruling.
“GOD IS SO GOOD! DON’T EVER DOUBT HIM NO MATTER HOW YOUR SITUATION LOOKS. TRUST HIM PLEASE. HE IS SO FAITHFUL,” he wrote late Monday night.
In a statement released to ABC News today, Deion Sanders’ attorney, Rick Robertson, described his client as feeling “vindicated” by the ruling.
“We are pleased that the judge confirmed Deion Sanders’ innocence and simultaneously validated his concern for the well-being of his family by giving him sole possession of his home and banning Pilar from the premises. He and his children can now move forward with their lives in peace,” read the statement.
The couple starred in a 2008 reality show, ” Deion & Pilar Prime Time Love,” that aired on the Oxygen network. Sanders now works as an analyst for the NFL Network.
Pilar Sanders has accused Deion of cheating on her with entertainment producer Tracey Edmonds. In February, she filed a suit against her husband and his aunt, Laura Jones, in which she claimed the aunt attacked her in their home while he watched.
She has also filed a $200 million defamation lawsuit against her husband and his daughter, Deiondra, for calling her a “gold diggin’ h*e” on Twitter. Deion defends himself against those allegations by insisting that he wasn’t lying and that his statement shouldn’t be considered libel if there was any truth to his words.
In court testimony last week the police officers who responded to the Sanders’ home in the April 23 dispute said they didn’t see any signs of attack on Pilar Sanders and that an injury to her lip seen in her mug shot may have been a self-inflicted bite. She told police she entered her husband’s bedroom because she hadn’t seen one of their sons for three days.
ABC News’ Michael Ono and the Associated Press contributed to this report.