Sanders vs. Sanders: Deion risks contempt charge

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by REBECCA LOPEZ

Bio | Email | Follow: @rlopezwfaa

WFAA

Posted on May 2, 2012 at 5:40 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 2 at 7:33 PM

PROSPER — You saw him on "Good Morning America," talking, laughing, and giving a tour of his massive home.

Former Dallas Cowboys star Deion Sanders opened up about his ugly divorce on national television.

On Wednesday, in a News 8 exclusive, we heard from family friend Dee Boswell. "I'd say, just wait until the truth comes out," she said. "The evidence is going to speak for itself."

Boswell took a cell phone photo of injuries to Pilar Sanders in the moments following Deion's alleged attack last week.

Now, we've learned Deion Sanders could be facing some serious jail time over all this, and will learn his fate in a court appearance on Thursday morning.

News 8 has been in contact with a district judge and two attorneys. They say Deion's appearance on "Good Morning America" puts him at risk of being in contempt of court for violating a gag order and talking about his divorce case.

Sanders took his dispute with his wife Pilar to the national level as her friend came forward to defend her.

It's an ugly divorce. On Wednesday, Deion Sanders appeared on "Good Morning America" to talk about it. "I'm not really making this public. When you have an allegation that I've hit you; that I've touched you; that I've assaulted you — that's just straight-up ignorant," he said.

But it was Deion Sanders who first tweeted pictures of his children and alleged that his wife, Pilar, and her friend attacked him.

Now he has possibly violated a gag order imposed by the judge in their divorce case.

"We've got to really tell our side of the story first and get it out there, and that's where that came from," Deion Sanders told GMA. "I'm not happy; I'm not going to say I'm proud, but it's the truth."

On GMA, Sanders said he never touched his wife. But on Tuesday, when he showed the network camera crew around his house, he explained how he had to carry Pilar out of his bedroom.

"I have her right here, and I threw her right here," he said.

Pilar's friend, Dee Boswell, told a different story on "News 8 Daybreak."  She said she witnessed Sanders beating his estranged wife.

"I went downstairs, and as I rounded the corner, I had my phone in my left hand and I was able to capture Deion striking Pilar in the head with a statue. Pilar was crouched down on the floor like this," Boswell said, demonstrating by putting her hands over her head. "In his left hand he was rearing back and just plowed her on top of her head with a statue and smashed her thumb."

Boswell said Deion Sanders then shoved her against the wall and punched her.

Boswell displayed a photo she said she took with her phone after the incident showing what she said was Pilar's bloodied thumb.

Boswell said the video she shot was seized as evidence by Prosper police.

Deion Sanders denies he hit anyone, and told GMA his children are his witnesses.

"Thank God, fortunately, that both of my sons witnessed the whole thing," he said. "Unfortunately that they did, but fortunately I have witnesses, and they testified and wrote statements out to the police."

Both sides say the truth will prevail.

On Tuesday, the law firm representing both the City of Prosper and Deion Sanders in another matter severed its ties with Prosper.

The city now has a new attorney, Charles Phillips. At a meeting Wednesday night, he and Prosper officers were questioned by Pilar's attorneys, who want to know why Deion Sanders wasn't initially taken into custody, even though Pilar was arrested after apparently suffering injuries.

Lawyers for Mrs. Sanders also want to know why officers failed to take all the witness statements at the scene and whether a Hall of Fame athlete is getting special treatment.

The police department has refused to release public records in this case.

Thursday morning at 10 o'clock, there is a hearing at which Mrs. Sanders' attorneys will ask for a protective order against her husband.

They will also ask that he be held in contempt of court for speaking publicly and to "Good Morning America" about the divorce case despite a gag order imposed by a judge.

If he is sanctioned, Deion Sanders faces up to 180 days in jail, a fine, or both.

Pilar Sanders' side says he is the aggressor, and evidence will prove it.

Deion Sanders maintains that his estranged wife is the aggressor, and he plans to use their children as witnesses.

E-mail rlopez@wfaa.com

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