The best closer in the history of Major League Baseball is now trying to shut down allegations he has failed to support two children he had outside his marriage in his native Panama.
Mariano Rivera, baseball’s first unanimous Hall of Fame selection, has been asked to answer to accusations he has failed to fulfill his obligations to support a boy and girl, ages 11 and 15, he had with a woman who’s not his wife.
The woman’s lawyer, Yovany Wyznick Ortega, told The Associated Press the former New York Yankees’ closer had “always shared” with the children but then abruptly stopped seeing them and “abandoned” the kids two years ago.
“He stopped paying for things for his children and put them in an economically critical situation,” she said. Ortega also told The AP that Rivera faces five suits filed several months ago related to the matter.
Rivera was back in Panama on Tuesday but lives in New York. When news of the allegations broke locally, Rivera gave an unexpected radio interview where he called the allegations against him “unfounded” and said he had “always acted as a good family father.”
The 49-year-old also released a brief written statement: “It is true that I face demands in the courts, all without foundation, which are affecting my children whom I love with all my heart.”