UPDATE: A September 3rd announcement revealed the result of a new pregnancy test requested by Dirk Nowitzki and ordered by a Texas judge in late July. Apparently administered in Missouri, it showed that his ex-fiancée was not pregnant at the time of the new test. Cristal Taylor was first tested -- by jail officials -- when booked in Dallas on May 6th. Those medical results, with virtually 100% accurate lab work by the county hospital, were officially released in late May. At that time, she tested positive for pregnancy. No word on when, precisely, a miscarriage was suffered during the ensuing months of incarceration.
This story has fallen through the sports cracks as the NBA Playoffs have unfolded. It deserves to be part of the national dialogue under the category "professional athletes behaving like total cads toward women."
In short, here it is: Dirk Nowitzki, the 11-year power forward of the Dallas Mavericks, has a girlfriend. She's been living with him for the past year and a half. In fact, he's her sole means of support, which isn't a strain since he makes $18 million a year. She's attended games, sitting in his personal seats. She sat with his visiting father on at least one occasion, and Dirk's also met her mother from St. Louis. The two lovebirds became engaged this past New Year's Eve, a mere five months ago.
It turns out, however, that she has a criminal past. Specifically, a conviction in Missouri for felony forgery, passing checks that were not hers, apparently. She was on probation when she moved to Texas and then failed to complete the process. That was 11 years ago. Then, five years ago, she was charged with using a bad credit card for $10,000 worth of dental work. That's apparently the extent of her rap sheet.
Here's Dirk's: He meets her, dates her, she ultimately moves in with him for a long time, and now she's pregnant and he's letting her sit behind bars. His German coach supposedly never liked her, perhaps because she's 37, seven years older than Dirk, or perhaps because she's African-American, who knows? There is gossip that team owner Mark Cuban disapproved of the relationship.
At some point, it was reported that a private investigator was hired in advance of a prenuptial agreement and dug up her history. While Dirk and his team were at a playoff game in Denver, law enforcement showed up unannounced at his $8 million mansion (in George W. Bush's and Cuban's Preston Hollow neighborhood) and hauled her away.
When Dirk returned to town, he said nothing, and the local media willfully accepted his silence. After all, the playoffs were in full swing, and he's the local hero, so the visceral reaction was to pile on against her. The Dallas Morning News got the ball rolling, bringing up strip clubs (she'd been a waitress years before). Commenters on its website called her a skank, a ho, you name it. Shortly after the Mavs were eliminated in the second round, Dirk fled to his native Germany for the off-season.
Meanwhile, it's been almost a month, and she's still in jail and still pregnant. Why Nowitzki didn't simply write a check to a lawyer who would handle her relatively minor debt to society (for him, anyway), and then get her out of his house and life -- if that's what he wanted -- is a mystery. $100,000 to wash his hands and then longterm child support pending a paternity test is what he was looking at. It would have been so simple, and out of the media spotlight.
The approach he's chosen is downright cruel to her, ultimately penny-wise and pound foolish for him.
He's now letting his attorney do the talking. The hired gun's initial stab at legal advocacy was to call her a liar, claiming she wasn't given a pregnancy test in jail. Ah, but it turns out she was given that test, and it came back positive. The hired gun was wrong.
We don't know how much she told Dirk about herself. She claims she told him some, but that she downplayed it out of embarrassment. A friend says he called her his "little jailbird."
In any event, he moved her into his home for 18 months and assumed financial responsibility for her. An expensive engagement ring followed (over $100,000, she says, but he's got it), and the promise of a life together. There's home video shot in a happy love nest that seems to have seeded a junior Dirkster. Yet now, she's been kicked aside over her checkered past.
Her best bet is to find a sharp lawyer to handle her legitimate domestic claims with Dirk, especially in light of how he has behaved toward her at the finish line. And he needs to locate his conscience.
This is bad theater all around.