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Pro-sports’ Litigation Lolitas

By Debbie Schlussel
debbie@politicalusa.com

1/21/2002

 
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Tennis Lolita Anna Kournikova soaks her billionaire ex-husband for millions.

Not the real Anna Kournikova. But Lisa Bonder, who was Anna Kournikova before there was Anna Kournikova – 20 years ago.

If you've read about Bonder's child-support fight with her husband-for-a-month – billionaire Kirk Kerkorian – and before her, Anna Nicole Smith's continuing travails over her deceased Methuselah of a husband – you've been introduced to litigation's latest overcompensated victims: scorned women.

The current specimens all have ties to pro sports. But they're stark examples of a clogged legal system turning relationships into lifelong ATM machines for women. They're also excellent examples of the failure of feminism. In the end, these women achieve "independence" by using courts to mooch off men and the rest of society.

Whether it's Bonder-Kerkorian, Kelci Stringer, or even Juanita Jordan (soon to be ex-wife of Michael), these "disadvantaged" women are out for an unearned payday bigger than winning the lottery.

Tennis fans likely remember Lisa Kerkorian as Lisa Bonder, the '80s' sexy, tall blonde from Michigan, who hit pro tennis' top-10 rankings and dabbled in modeling and posters. Unlike Kournikova, she never achieved the crossover appeal outside the tennis world that garners the Russian tennis starlet an estimated $15 million per year in endorsement income. But Bonder did garner enough lucrative endorsements and tournament winnings to keep her in comfort.

She should be set for life, rather than seeking out, shacking up with, and shaking down a senior-citizen billionaire, Kerkorian.

Instead, Bonder, 36, had a multi-year affair with Kerkorian, 84, beginning in 1991. Does anyone believe a 26-year-old was truly interested in a 74-year-old? She was likely more interested in his billions. Kerkorian, the MGM studio and casino mogul worth over $6 billion, is so wealthy that he was the single-largest non-institutional stockholder in Chrysler and threatened a hostile takeover in the '90s.

But while he easily fought Chrysler's then-Chairman Lee Iaccoca, Kerkorian met his match in the scheming Bonder. He refused her constant begging for marriage so, in 1997, she got pregnant with his daughter. In a move to legitimize the child's birth, they married on the condition that she waive all spousal support and divorce a month later.

But Bonder found a way to get paid for this high-class prostitution act: child-support, perhaps the only reason she had this child with an 80-year-old. The prenuptial pact set per month support at $35,000, the divorce agreement specified $50,000 monthly, and Kerkorian has been voluntarily paying $75,000 per month for a 3-year-old! Not enough, says Bonder, who sued for $320,000 per month, claiming the young child needs $144,000 monthly for travel, $7,000 monthly for charity, and $102,000 monthly for food.

Bonder lives in three estates, worth a combined $26 million. Yet, she's using the legal system – and her daughter – to play the victim. That's the legacy of feminism: Even rich, "independent" women's sports stars resort to shacking up with octogenarians and suing them for a big payday.

Kelci Stringer is another "victim." It's lamentable her pro-football player husband, Korey Stringer, died in Minnesota Vikings training camp on a hot day. But, as a first-round draft pick and starter, he was well compensated and insured for risk of injury. Stringer was also paid his multi-million dollar salary to stay in shape. But he didn't – getting fat over the off-season, dangerously trying to lose it and get in shape just a few days before camp.

But is that his fault? Not according to Mrs. Stringer's lawyers (and Jesse Jackson, who has – surprise! – interjected himself in this shakedown). They've filed a $100 million lawsuit against the Vikings. No matter that out-of-shape Stringer was up to a bloated 335-pounds. Newspaper photos showed him doubling over, gasping for breath during drills that in-shape athletes finessed.

Mrs. Stringer is a "victim," and instead of quietly dealing with her grief, everyone else must pay for this woman "scorned" by the Vikings. Costs of the suit will be passed on to Vikings' ticket-buying fans who, unlike wealthy Mrs. Stringer, are mostly working-class stiffs.

Don't feel sorry for Juanita Jordan – divorcing wife of basketball great, Michael – either. According to the New York Post, she put up with his affairs for years, tailing him with a private investigator.

What did she expect? Her own marriage was the result of a tawdry, litigious affair. She met Michael at Bennigan's restaurant in Chicago in 1988, got pregnant, gave birth and slapped him with a paternity suit. To avoid the suit, Michael whisked her off to a tacky Vegas quickie-wedding at the Little White Wedding Chapel in 1989. What an omen for the kind of smarmy marriage she'd have with a philandering sports star.

But even though she had prior warning and was an operative from the beginning in this questionable partnership, she could win 90 percent of the Jordans' property under Illinois law. Illinois is not a community-property state. Rather than splitting property 50-50, fault is a factor in deciding property division. Totally immoral, should Jordan's philandering, of which former groupie Juanita was well aware, entitle her to 90 percent of his worth? Is she really a victim? Under the law, yes.

The song, "The Sisters Are Doing it For Themselves," is bogus. Just look on the sports pages and the overburdened courthouses. For these newest Anna Nicole Smiths, The Sisters Are Suing it For Themselves. The litigation Lolitas will get their big payday in court.

Debbie Schlussel is a political commentator and attorney. She is a frequent guest on ABC's "Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher" and Fox News Channel. Join her fan club or discussion group.

  

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