Pilar Sanders, wife of NFL Hall of Fame cornerback Deion “Prime Time” Sanders, filed for divorce last January, accusing her husband of 12 years of “numerous” acts of adultery and “physical, mental and emotional abuse.” The documents, filed in Texas, also accuse Sanders of being a “bully” who “suffers from a narcissistic personality disorder.” Pilar Sanders was also seeking sole legal custody of the couple’s three mutual children, and to have their prenuptial agreement tossed out, according to celebrity gossip website TMZ. The accusations are familiar. In 1996 Deion Sanders’ former wife Carolyn filed for divorce and also accused former Atlanta Falcon, Dallas Cowboy and San Francisco 49er of “cruel treatment and adultery.” That couple tried to reconcile, but split for good in 1998.
The proceedings have been a messy celebrity divorce sideshow (fodder for their reality TV show “Deion & Pilar: Prime Time Love” on the Oxygen network ) and have spilled over into social media, with a daughter from his first marriage, Deiondra, engaging in all-out war on Twitter against Pilar, her stepmother, calling her an “adulterous gold digger”. She also alleged that Pilar Sanders, her stepmother, was guilty of adultery of her own. Pilar Sanders has always counted that her husband has a “narcissistic personality” and is unconcerned with anyone but himself. Pilar Sanders has stated she wants sole legal custody of the children and a majority chunk of their joint property, effectively throwing out the couple’s prenuptial agreement, explaining the penance for his alleged infidelity should be a majority of their joint wealth.
So, trouble at the $21 million dollar Prosper, Tx. ranch. Why should we care? What does a celebrity divorce have to do with the rest of us?
Celebrity divorces increase ratings for television shows and drive hits on gossip websites, but they also keep key divorce concepts in the public discourse. Key points in the Deion Sanders -Pilar Sanders split are (alleged) adultery, infidelity, abuse, sole legal child custody, division of property and their prenuptial agreement. Celebrity divorces get more media attention than Mr. and Mrs. Jones’ split-up, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less painful and traumatic.
The questions Deion and Pilar Sanders must answer is how to divide their wealth, including that $21 million ranch bungalow on the North Texas plains, and whether their prenuptial agreement will be thrown out. Pilar claims she was forced to sign the prenup under duress, but Deion Sanders disagrees — according to his lawyer, “Mr. Sanders committed to a generous financial agreement with his wife when they both voluntarily signed a premarital agreement that they presented to the judge for approval.” The ironic detail in this divorce, especially given she’s cited adultery and infidelity as a root cause is this: When Deion was married to his first wife Carolyn, he had an affair with – with for it – Pilar herself!
For a former football star, that sounds like illegal procedure and unsportsmanlike conduct rolled into one.
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