By JEFFREY GOLD
The Associated Press
Friday, February 16, 2007; 9:25 PM
NEWARK, N.J. -- Jason Kidd's estranged wife has charged that the New Jersey Nets' star physically abused her and cheated on her throughout their 10-year marriage.
In responding to divorce papers Jason Kidd filed last month, Joumana Kidd asserted that her husband's "numerous liaisons and perpetual physical and emotional abuse" led to the breakdown of their marriage.
Jason Kidd's lawyer, though, said Friday that the "bizarre allegations will be proven false."
In answering her husband's divorce petition, Joumana Kidd requested that they be given joint legal custody of their three children, but that the children live with her. She also seeks child support, alimony and monetary compensation for the injuries and trauma she suffered.
Joumana Kidd's petition, filed Thursday in state Superior Court for Bergen County, said she was the victim of "recurring physical abuse and serial infidelity." They had been living together in Saddle River.
The 27-page document related a series of alleged attacks in which Jason Kidd punched, kicked or choked her, once giving her a concussion by striking her with a candlestick.
Jason Kidd's lawyer, Madeline Marzano-Lesnevich, in a statement, called the filing "retaliatory and gratuitously nasty."
"It contains a fantastical array of information that is exaggerated, manipulated or just plain fabricated," Marzano-Lesnevich said.
She filed a response Friday in which Jason Kidd denies all the allegations of abuse and unfaithfulness.
Joumana Kidd, in her filing, charged that her husband was unable to restrain his violent urges and was "habitually unfaithful" even after committing himself to Christianity in November 2004.
She said he has admitted to affairs with numerous women "including strippers in Arizona, Sacramento, Miami, Dallas and Indiana," as well as a Nets season ticket holder, a Nets employee, a cheerleader in New Orleans, and women named "Petra" and "Lisa," according to her filing.
As part of his repeated efforts to apologize, Jason Kidd bought his wife a $585,000 pink diamond ring in March 2004 and a $555,000 diamond pendant in June 2004, according to Joumana Kidd's court papers.
Despite their difficulties, Joumana Kidd said she was stunned by his divorce filing, asserting they had recently discussed renewing their marriage vows and buying a vacation home in Mexico.
She also charged that Jason Kidd had "virtually no relationship" with their children until 2005, and remained "extraordinarily self-absorbed and narcissistic," often abandoning the family for days on end to play golf.
Joumana Kidd also claimed that her husband "often drinks and gambles to excess when out with friends and teammates."
The couple separated in November. Jason Kidd last assaulted his wife Dec. 28 at an apartment he took in Saddle River, pressing his forearm against her neck, causing her to lose her breath, according to Joumana Kidd's filing.
Joumana Kidd said that her husband has since moved and will not tell her where.
One of her lawyers, Raoul Lionel Felder, said she wanted to have the papers sealed to protect the family's privacy but because she was not likely to be successful under the law, decided to proceed.
"She is sad that it had to come to this, and she is disappointed that it could not have been handled in a more gracious and private manner," he said in a statement.
Jason Kidd's attorney also joined in asking a judge to seal the papers, and said that Joumana Kidd could have tried harder to keep her accusations private.
"Had Ms. Kidd sincerely been interested in keeping this process private, she would have advised her legal team to pursue a number of legal paths outlined to the attorneys by the court," Marzano-Lesnevich said.
In his initial divorce filing last month, Jason Kidd charged that his wife physically and emotionally abused him for the last decade. He then amended his filing to cite only irreconcilable differences days after a new state law permitted no-fault divorce. The new law allows couples to dissolve their marriage in six months if they cite irreconcilable differences. Previously, state law required couples wait 18 months.
Jason Kidd had cited extreme cruelty in his initial filing.
The Kidds, who were married in 1997, were involved in a domestic violence matter six years ago when he was playing for the Phoenix Suns.
In that incident, Jason Kidd was arrested in January 2001 after his wife told police he slapped her in the face during an argument about feeding their son, who is now 8. The couple also has 4-year-old twin daughters.
Kidd pleaded guilty to spousal abuse, was fined $200 and ordered to take anger management training.
Associated Press Writer Beth DeFalco in Trenton contributed to this report.