Published January 10, 2007
NEW YORK – Hoops superstar Jason Kidd yesterday slapped his knockout wife with shocking divorce papers - claiming he's an abused spouse.
The New Jersey Nets' All-Star point guard - once busted for allegedly hitting his sexy bride, Joumana, in the face over a french fry - charges in the explosive court document that she has been punching, kicking and throwing "household objects" at him virtually since their wedding day in 1997.
"The defendant's behavior has left the plaintiff concerned for his well-being," say the sensational papers, filed in Bergen County Superior Court in Hackensack.
The star athlete stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 210 pounds.
The couple has a mansion in upper-crust Saddle River, where they live with their three young kids - son T.J., 8, and twin 5-year-old daughters Miah and Jazelle.
According to the court papers, Joumana's "extreme cruelty" toward Kidd has included trying to make him look bad in front of the children by talking trash about his career - not to mention tossing paint on his beloved golf clubs.
Kidd charges that his wife even recently used T.J. to "sneak into" the team's locker room to rifle through his belongings and dig up dirt on him.
On Dec. 27, she swiped his cellphone and then left the boy alone to take a front-row seat at the game - where she proceeded to openly taunt her husband with "personal insults," the court papers allege.
Sources said Joumana waved her hubby's phone at him and punched in numbers from his personal address book as she screamed at him.
Six days earlier, according to the papers, an irate Joumana sat on the hood of Kidd's car and refused to budge, preventing him from getting to practice.
"On other occasions, the defendant has laid in front of the plaintiff's car in order to prevent him from attending professional obligations," the papers claim.
The "increasingly jealous and paranoid" Joumana, 34, also installed tracking devices on all of Kidd's vehicles and computers to trace where he's been and whom he's been talking to, according to the legal document. Kidd says in the papers that his wife finally agreed to dismantle the devices after he confronted her - only to secretly reactivate them.
Kidd also blames his wife for wildly lavish spending.
But more seriously, he also charges in the papers that she has routinely threatened to call 911 and "file fictitious domestic violence reports against [him]" when angry.
Kidd, 33, was busted for splitting his wife's lip in front of their then-2-year-old son in Arizona in 2001, when he played for the Phoenix Suns. At the time of the assault, the pair were squabbling over who would feed the child. When Joumana yelled at Kidd for swiping one of the baby's fries, he snapped, according to reports.
Later that year, he was traded to the Nets, and signed a six-year, $99 million contract.
"Right now, it's tough, a difficult situation for my family," Kidd told reporters at team practice yesterday. "So we'd ask for any family matters that we're going through to be in private.
"I knew it'd be headlines. But again, it's a family matter as we try to work our things out."
"She has a right to say what she wants," Kidd added of his wife. "For me, it's just what's done is done."
Kidd filed for divorce the day after personally going to the courthouse to take out a temporary restraining order against his wife, alleging that she flew into violent rages in front of their children, sources said.
His wife was blindsided by the move, said one of her lawyers, Gary Newman.
Newman declined comment on the divorce filing, saying, "The first we're hearing it is from you." He also refused to say whether Joumana planned to file a domestic-violence counterclaim against Kidd.
Another of Joumana's lawyers, celebrity legal eagle Raoul Felder, ripped the restraining order against his client, noting her size versus Kidd's.
"Don't forget, this is a guy who was charged with spousal abuse in Arizona," Felder said.
"It's absurd. She's all of 5-foot-3 and 110 pounds. He's the professional athlete. And she harassed him?
"It's very simple," he said of the charges that Joumana attacked Kidd. "There's a one-word response: Untrue."
Kidd was back on the basketball court last night and had a strong game, scoring 10 points and getting 14 assists as the Nets beat the Toronto Raptors, 101-86.
He and his wife are due in court again Jan. 17.