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Ex-football star Deion Sanders assaulted by estranged wife: police

By Marice Richter

MCKINNEY, Texas (Reuters) - The estranged wife of Deion Sanders was accused of assaulting the former football star at their home after he sent out Twitter messages that she and a friend had attacked him.

Pilar Sanders, 38, was arrested Monday evening at the home the couple share in the Dallas suburb of Prosper. She was charged with misdemeanor family assault and held overnight at the Collin County jail.

After being released on $264 bond, she emerged and told waiting reporters: "I am innocent."

Her attorney, Peter Schulte, said she had suffered a broken thumb, split lip and had a fingernail ripped off in Monday's incident.

Schulte said the only person hurt in the altercation was Pilar Sanders. "She is innocent and the truth will come out in court," he said.

Sanders, 44, filed for divorce from his wife in December but they continued to share their sprawling home.

"There is a gag order in the divorce case and I can't comment about that," said her divorce attorney, Lawrence Friedman. "All I can say is that there are two sides to every story."

A TV analyst for the NFL Network who has been inducted into the National Football League Hall of Fame, Sanders sent out messages on his Twitter account about the incident that culminated in his estranged wife's arrest.

"Pray for me and my kids now!" he tweeted on Monday. "They just witnessed their mother and a friend jump me in my room. She's going to jail n I'm pressing charges."

Sanders was a two-sport star as an All-Pro NFL cornerback, kick returner, and receiver, as well as a Major League Baseball outfielder. One of his nicknames was "Prime Time," for making big plays in key games and for his talkative, telegenic personality. He played for many teams including the Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees.

Pilar Sanders, a former model, filed a $200 million lawsuit against her husband in March, seeking damages for disparaging comments that were posted online.

The couple starred together in the Oxygen network reality show "Deion & Pilar: Prime Time Love."

(Editing By Andrew Stern and Cynthia Osterman)