Nowitzki Was Engaged, Bought $250K Ring

Sources say arrested woman is Nowitzki's fiance.

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Dirk Nowitzki may have more than basketball on his mind after a woman was arrested at his home on Wednesday.

    Sources have told media outlets that the woman arrested at the posh Preston Hollow home of Dirk Nowitzki was engaged to the Dallas Mavericks star.

    Cristal Taylor, 37, was arrested Wednesday. Police have refused to speculate on the woman's relationship to Nowitzki.

    Dirk Addresses Personal Problems

    [DFW] Dirk Addresses Personal Problems
    Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki talks for the first time about Cristal Taylor, his reported girlfriend, who was arrested at his home on May 6, 2009. (Published Thursday, May 7, 2009)

    One source told NBCDFW "she'd been coming around here for years." Nowitzki reportedly bought Taylor a $250,000 engagement ring, according to another source.

    Investigators said Taylor was taken into custody on two outstanding warrants at about 11 a.m. Wednesday -- before Nowitzki and the team returned from Denver. The first was a probation violation from a corrections department in Missouri, the second a theft of service from Jefferson County.

    People close to Nowitzki said his inner circle of teammates and longtime counselors advised him to hire a private investigator to do a background check on Taylor in preparation of a prenuptial agreement.

    The investigator then learned about Taylor's checkered past. Nowitzki's inner circle counseled him to break up with Taylor and call police.

    Taylor's former husband told The Dallas Morning News she racked up $330,000 in debt while they were married. The debt forced him into bankruptcy in Harris County a year after he divorced her, the newspaper reported.

    A source told the newspaper there are indications that Taylor may have gained access to Nowitzki's credit cards without his permission.

    Nowitzki declined to discuss Taylor during a news conference Thursday.

    "It's pretty obvious that I'm going through a tough time in my personal life right now, but like I always have, I want to kind of keep my private life private," Nowitzki said. "I'm not at the stage where I can talk about it yet and feel comfortable talking about it. At this point, I just can't talk about it."

    Nowitzki then answered some basketball-related questions about the Western Conference semifinal series against Denver, which the Mavericks trail 2-0 going into Game 3 on Saturday. He also said the incident wouldn't affect his play.

    "I'll be ready," Nowitzki said.

    The eight-minute session ended after a series of rapid-fire questions about his relationship with Taylor and reports that she is pregnant. In reply, Nowitzki offered three times, "I'm not commenting on that," then added, "Any more basketball questions?"

    Taylor's mother, Shirley Taylor, said she has met Nowitzki but would not comment on his relationship with her daughter. She also would not comment on rumors that her daughter is pregnant.

    "Things just get blown out and tossed around," she said. "I don't know. I am just saying I don't know."

    Shirley Taylor said her daughter's arrest has been "like a nightmare."

    "I talked to her, and she said she is doing fine, you know, OK," she said.

    She said she has gotten several calls from her daughter.

    Taylor remained in Dallas County Jail on Thursday on $20,000 bond. Her mother said she did not know if she will post her daughter's bond.

    "You know, I really don't know anything yet," she said. "I really don't. I am going to wait for her to get back in touch with me, and hopefully, it will be tomorrow and then I will be able to know something."

    A 2006 indictment alleging theft of service in Jefferson County in southeast Texas listed eight aliases for Taylor, who was accused of not paying for dental services.

    Beaumont dentist Joel Smith said Taylor owes him $10,000 for dental work. He told a Beaumont television station that he was surprised by Wednesday's arrest.

    Smith said he pressed charges because more and more of his patients are failing to pay. An arrest warrant was issued late last year.

    Booking records show Taylor has used at least eight different aliases in the past including Chrystal Ann Taylor, Crystal Ann Taylor, Debra Johnson, Shana Mancini, Krista Santiago, Crystal Ann Santiago, Cristal Westerhaus and Crista A. Westerhays.

    The probation violation originated in St. Charles County, Mo., and stemmed from Taylor pleading guilty in 1999 to two counts of forgery and two counts of felony stealing, county prosecutor Jack Banas said. Taylor, who was accused of passing bad checks through a bank, had multiple five-year prison sentences suspended, Banas said.

    The Dallas Morning News reported that the Dallas Mavericks cautioned Nowitzki about his relationship with Taylor and that he had suspicions about her long before her arrest Wednesday.