Much like his playing days, Deion Sanders’ tumultuous marriage has had no shortage of flash and drama: A reality television show, a divorce arrangement in which the couple still lived together and now, misdemeanor assault charges.
Police said late Tuesday that the former Dallas Cowboys star was cited for misdemeanor simple assault in the wake of an altercation with his estranged wife, Pilar, that got her arrested Monday at their mansion in the Dallas suburb of Prosper.
The Hall of Famer had tweeted Monday that she attacked him, and he even posted a photo of his children filling out police reports. He later removed the photo and posted a new message about joy.
Police said further investigation led to a charge also being filed against the football star, though it didn’t warrant his arrest. Prosper police spokesman Celso Martinez wouldn’t detail the allegations, but said the charge covers any act considered aggressive and could be as simple as touching or defensively jerking away from someone’s grip. It carries a fine of up to $500.
A message left with Deion Sanders’ attorney by The Associated Press wasn’t immediately returned.
A day after Pilar was arrested, Deion had removed the tweeted photo. He also tweeted a different message: “Joy came this morning and we opened the door and let Joy in.”
Pilar Sanders, who was charged with misdemeanor assault and held overnight in county jail, was released Tuesday. Standing outside Collin County Jail, she said she was being treated unfairly.
“I’m a full-time mom, 100 percent for my children,” she said, her voice breaking. “And I just haven’t been given a fair shake.”
Her husband, known as “Prime Time” during his Hall of Fame playing career, is an icon in the Dallas area for spending five seasons as a cornerback with the Cowboys.
Deion and Pilar Sanders have been living in the same home in Prosper, months after Deion filed for divorce in December. Deion’s attorney, Rick Robertson, has said both had separate living areas within the large home.
After the alleged attack Monday, Deion tweeted that his children “just witnessed their mother and a friend jump me in my room. She’s going to jail (and) I’m pressing charges!”
The Sanders’ divorce file is under seal and a judge has placed both sides under a gag order.
Earlier Tuesday, before police announced the charge against Deion, Robertson said he didn’t see the tweets as a violation of that order because the alleged attack was a separate issue.
“The assault action that occurred was a criminal action that also constitutes family violence,” he said. “Pilar Sanders was arrested for that and jailed.”
A magistrate judge ordered her Tuesday to stay away from their home for 60 days. The judge also barred her from threatening or harassing her husband, KTVT-TV reported.
Her divorce attorney, Larry Friedman, said he couldn’t comment about her arrest due to the gag order.
“I can tell you that there are two sides to every story and the truth will come out in court,” he said in a statement.
Robertson said Deion regretted the conflict in his family and “having it aired publicly” for his children to see. He would not say why the football star tweeted about the alleged incident.
Pilar Sanders is a model who has appeared on several television shows, including a 2008 Oxygen network reality series about their family’s home life, “Deion & Pilar: Prime Time Love.” The couple married in 1999.
Deion Sanders, who played for five NFL teams and is now an NFL Network analyst, has three children with Pilar and two from a former marriage.
Separately, Pilar Sanders is suing Deion Sanders; his daughter from his first marriage, Deiondra Sanders; and Prime Time Enterprise Inc., for $200 million in damages. That case is scheduled to go to trial in September.
She is also suing Deion Sanders’ aunt, Laura Jones, alleging Jones assaulted her in February, according to the Dallas Morning News.