New Jersey Nets Star, Jason Kidd, Files for Divorce

January 9, 2007

LAWYER: Madeline Marzano-Lesnevich, Esq. — TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey Nets star Jason Kidd filed for divorce from his wife of 10 years Tuesday, accusing her of “extreme cruelty” throughout their marriage.

In the dissolution papers, filed in state Superior Court in Bergen County, Kidd accuses Joumana Kidd of physically and mentally abusing him, threatening to make false domestic violence complaints against him to police, and of interfering with his relationship with his children.

“The defendant’s extreme and unwarranted jealousy and rage has left the plaintiff concerned about her emotional stability,” the papers say.

The divorce filing came less than a day after the 33-year-old NBA player filed a domestic violence complaint seeking a temporary restraining order against his wife.

“Jason Kidd filed for divorce from his wife today on the grounds of extreme cruelty over a long period of time,” Kidd’s attorney, Madeline Marzano-Lesnevich, said in a statement Tuesday.

Kidd scored 10 points Tuesday night as the Nets beat the Toronto Raptors 101-86.

“I can’t talk about my personal stuff,” he said afterward. “I hope you guys will respect this tough situation my family is going through and that we can resolve this as quickly as possible.

“There is really no distraction,” Kidd said. “This is my job.”

His complaint, however, paints a detailed portrait of Joumana Kidd as a vitriolic, jealous and paranoid wife prone to public outbursts and threats, including during a recent Nets game.

According to the complaint, Joumana Kidd used the couple’s 8-year-old son on Dec. 27 to sneak into the Nets locker room and rummage through Jason Kidd’s locker to find his cell phone. After looking up the names and numbers on it, the complaint said she left her son behind as she went upstairs to take a front row seat, where she shouted insults at Kidd throughout the game.

The papers accuse Joumana Kidd of kicking, hitting, punching and throwing household objects at her husband as she became “increasingly controlling and manipulative” in the last few years of their union.

According to Kidd, his wife had tracking devices installed on his cars and computers and has harassed his trainer, friends and family.

The Kidds were married in 1997 and live in Saddle River. They were involved in a domestic violence matter six years ago when he was playing for the Phoenix Suns.

In that incident, Jason Kidd was arrested in January 2001 after his wife told police he hit her during an argument over their son, Trey Jason (T.J.), who was 2 at the time. Kidd pleaded guilty to spousal abuse, was fined $200 and ordered to take anger management training.

Besides 8-year-old T.J., the Kidds have 4-year-old twin daughters, Miah and Jazelle.

Despite the numerous accusations by Kidd in the complaint, he did not ask for sole custody of the children.

“It is in the best interest that the parties share physically and legal custody of the children,” the complaint said.

Kidd will make more than $18 million this season.

The Kidds’ home phone number is unlisted. An after-hours message left for Joumana Kidd’s lawyer was not immediately returned.