Pilar Sanders Says Deion Sanders Threatened Her

Pilar Sanders testifies in fight over custody of their three children

By Ellen Goldberg
|  Saturday, Mar 9, 2013  |  Updated 7:26 AM CDT
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Accusations of assault and steroid use caused drama at the Collin County Courthouse as Deion and Pilar Sanders battle for custody of their children.

Randy McIIwain, NBC 5 News

Accusations of assault and steroid use caused drama at the Collin County Courthouse as Deion and Pilar Sanders battle for custody of their children.

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Pilar Sanders said in court Thursday that, since she filed for divorce from Deion Sanders, the former Dallas Cowboys player has threatened to destroy her.

The couple is in court for a trial to settle primary custody of their three children in their bitter divorce battle.

Pilar Sanders also strongly denied any accusations of adultery. She started crying as she told jurors about how betrayed and hurt she felt when Deion Sanders accused her on Twitter to his hundreds of thousands of followers of cheating.

She also told jurors that she moved out of her mother's home in Celina when she came home to find the front door frame busted. She testified that she believes that her estranged husband and his "so-called crisis team" were making good on the threat to destroy her.

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The Sanders children's piano teacher, Lisa Thomas, also took the stand Thursday.

She testified that Deion Sanders threatened her outside the courtroom the last time she was at a hearing. She said he told her: "I am going to get you."

Thomas told jurors that she requested protection from the Collin County Sheriff's Office because she could not afford a bodyguard and was afraid.

Jurors also heard from two Prosper school principals for the Sanders boys. Both portrayed Pilar Sanders as a hands-on parent who is highly involved in the children's educations.

The principals characterized Deion Sanders as hard to get a hold of. His attorneys responded by pointing out that neither one had asked Deion Sanders for his email address or tried to talk to him when they have seen him on campus.

Deion Sanders said as he walked into court that he anticipated more lies on the third day of the hearing.

"Dramatic, drama, lies -- this has been consistent throughout the trial," he said. "We've heard it all. We've been here for a year and a half; we've heard it all. There's nothing you can come up with new."

Pilar Sanders came into court accompanied by her attorney, Larry Friedman. Outside of the courtroom, she said she is ready for this to be over.

"It's very hard to be separated from my children in the manner we've been separated in," she said. "I'm looking forward to finally getting them back into my cradling arms and doing what we always do."

Pilar Sanders will return to the stand Friday morning to finish her testimony. The trial is expected to last until late next week.

Deion Sanders testified Tuesday, Wednesday

Pilar Sander's attorneys on Wednesday grilled the Hall of Famer on everything from abuse to adultery in the battle for primary custody of the couple's three children.

Her attorney asked him about driving with a suspended license, an alleged suicide attempt in the 1990s and allowing his girlfriend to spend the night at his house while he is still legally married.

"I filed for divorce because she was the one cheating," Deion Sanders said. "I think everyone here knows that."

Deion Sanders' first wife and mother of two of his children also testified Wednesday. She said her first encounter with Pilar Sanders was when she called her and said: "I'm seeing your husband."

Jurors also heard an audio recording of a fight between Pilar Sanders and Deion Sander's personal assistant. Her attorneys fought airing of the recording, but the judge allowed it, and jurors heard Pilar Sanders in a tirade laced with curse words.

Pilar Sanders took the stand late Wednesday afternoon and testified for about 45 minutes before the judge recessed for the day.

On Tuesday, Deion Sanders' testimony touched on many topics that he argued did not have much to do with his three children, such as the couple's reality show, his Hall of Fame acceptance speech and the Dallas charter school he has founded.

Pilar Sanders' attorneys said the busy schedule shows that he has too much going on to be a full-time parent. The attorneys also said he had a split personality.

Attorneys for Deion Sanders painted his estranged wife as a model and actress who is an absent parent more focused on her Hollywood dreams than her three children.

Divorce drama extends for more than a year

Deion Sanders announced his split from Pilar Sanders on Facebook in December 2011.

Since then, both sides have argued over everything from the prenuptial agreement to alleged assaults and criminal mischief, child support payments and now child custody.

Deion Sanders has argued that the custody battle is all about money. Pilar Sanders has said the fight is about who is the more reliable parent.

Both parents say they want what is best for their children.

NBC 5's Kendra Lyn contributed to this report.

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