Shanna Moakler Hits Oscar De La Hoya With $62.5-Million Palimony Suit

Dec 20, 2000, 00:00 ET from Sitrick and Company

    LOS ANGELES, Dec. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Charging there is a "vast disparity
 between (his) 'Golden Boy' image and his true nature," former Miss U.S.A.
 Shanna Moakler filed a massive palimony suit against boxer Oscar De La Hoya in
 Los Angeles Superior Court today, asking for half of the more than
 $125 million the fighter is estimated to have earned during the 31 months the
 two lived together.
     "For nearly three years, Oscar De La Hoya counted on the love and support
 of Shanna Moakler to prop up the wholesome 'Golden Boy' image that has enabled
 him to become one of the wealthiest athletes of all time," said Ms. Moakler's
 attorney, Ronald D. Reynolds of the Los Angeles firm of Kaye, Scholer,
 Fierman, Hays & Handler, LLP.  "In fact, the real Oscar De La Hoya is so far
 from 'Golden' that without Shanna at his side, he never would have been able
 to attract and maintain those lucrative endorsement contracts that have helped
 make him so rich."
     A successful actress and model who was persuaded by De La Hoya to give up
 a burgeoning film and TV career in order to devote herself full-time to him
 and their daughter Atiana, Ms. Moakler notes in her suit that she and the
 fighter had an agreement under which he promised to give her "half of the
 income and property acquired during their relationship as well as financial
 support sufficient to maintain the standard of living they enjoyed during
 their relationship."
     However, the suit charges, not only has De La Hoya failed to live up to
 this agreement but ever since he "callously and abruptly ended their
 relationship" in September by escorting another woman to a
 nationally-televised awards program, the boxer has been pursuing "a campaign
 of intimidation, harassment and obstruction in an attempt to force [Ms.
 Moakler] to abandon her contractual rights."
     The suit notes that De La Hoya has repeatedly violated a Domestic Violence
 Restraining Order that Ms. Moakler obtained against the boxer and his
 representatives, threatening her on one occasion that if she sued him, she
 would "regret it."  Allegedly, De La Hoya told her he can be "very cruel" to
 people who do not obey him, adding: "I do what I have to do to get what I
     Ms. Moakler first met De La Hoya in October 1997.  They moved in together
 the following February, pledging to maintain what the suit describes as "a
 monogamous, long term relationship, the same as a married couple."  In June
 1998, Ms. Moakler became pregnant by De La Hoya, who responded to the news by
 promising in writing to take care of Ms. Moakler and their child "forever."
 ("I am here for you baby, I will take of you and be there through thick &
 thin," he told her in a handwritten note.  "I want to spend the rest of my
 life with you...I will do anything for you sweetheart, I will protect you and
 be your guardian angel.")
     In October 1998, De La Hoya announced his engagement to Ms. Moakler and
 henceforth began referring to her as his "wife."
     Among other things, the suit notes that De La Hoya was accused last
 December of raping several women in his and Moakler's Bel Air home, while his
 family waited Christmas dinner for him at the home of Ms. Moakler's parents in
 Palm Springs.  He has also been accused of raping a 15-year-old girl in Cabo
 San Lucas, Mexico.  (The girl has sued De La Hoya and her case is set for
 trial in Los Angeles Superior Court in June 2001.)
     The suit also describes De La Hoya as "a chronic abuser of alcohol" and
 says that in addition to his daughter with Moakler, he has fathered a number
 of other children by a number of other women.  It also reports that despite De
 La Hoya's "public statements regarding his 'love' for his children," he has
 not seen his other recognized child, Jacob, in over a year and "recently told
 [Moakler] that he will 'never see Atiana' ... until she is at least 15 years
     According to the lawsuit, in order to maintain "his phony 'Golden Boy'
 image and, thus, his continued prosperity," De La Hoya used Ms. Moakler and
 their daughter "as props to promote his public image as a good husband and
     Ms. Moakler was as much a victim of the deception as anyone, the suit
 says.  "Because she was in love with and trusted Defendant...she did not
 reasonably doubt his wholesome persona.  Indeed, until September 12, 2000,
 when [De La Hoya] publicly humiliated [Ms. Moakler] by appearing on national
 television escorting another woman to the Latin Grammy awards, [she] herself
 was completely taken in by the 'Golden Boy' image."
     According to the lawsuit, De La Hoya constantly told Ms. Moakler "that he
 did not want her working during their relationship.  He would become angry
 with [her] if she was unable to travel with him or attend a function related
 to [his] career because of her work schedule."  It adds that whenever Ms.
 Moakler "expressed any concerns over her dependency on [De La Hoya] for
 financial support, [he] always told [her] that he was boxing and earning
 income for their family and that what was his was hers."  This past July, for
 example, De La Hoya wrote Ms. Moakler a letter in which he thanked her for all
 her sacrifices on his behalf, adding: "God wants us to share our lives
 together and take care of one another trust each other, take care of our
 daughter work together so we are strong and powerful . . . what I want to do
 is build an empire with you and it takes hard work and time and alot of love
 from each other."
     Based on his promises, the suit notes, Ms. Moakler "gave up her successful
 career as an actress in order to fully devote herself to the care and support
 of [De La Hoya] and [his] career, their home and their child."
     When she first met De La Hoya, Ms. Moakler was starring as Officer Monica
 Harper on the USA Network series "Pacific Blue."  She had also appeared in
 such feature films as "The Wedding Singer," "Sugar," "Telling You," "Poison
 Ivy III," and "Love Stinks," and had guest-starred on such TV shows as ABC's
 "Timecop" and CBS's "Due South."  In 1995, she won the Miss U.S.A. pageant,
 after which she spent a year traveling the country working with a variety of

SOURCE Sitrick and Company