PHOENIX -- Joumana and Jason Kidd have been the first couple of Phoenix sports. Outgoing and friendly, she appears regularly on local television.
Kidd, a member of the U.S. Olympic team that won the gold medal
in Sydney, has credited their partnership as a big factor in his
rise to NBA superstardom. He said the kisses he blows before free
throws are for her.
Now, Kidd is accused of striking her during an argument at their home in Paradise Valley on Thursday evening. A misdemeanor assault charge was filed by town attorney Andrew Miller on Friday. Arraignment is scheduled for Wednesday.
"There's just a bad history here," Joumana Kidd told police on
a 911 call. "I told him this would be the last time, and he popped
me right in the mouth."
Kidd appeared alongside Phoenix Suns owner Jerry Colangelo and made a brief statement to reporters Friday.
"I love my wife. I love my family," Kidd said. "This is a
situation that is embarrassing to me, to my family, my friends and
also to the Phoenix Suns. I apologize for that and at this time
that is pretty much all I can say."
Police who responded to the call from the Kidds' home in
Paradise Valley, an affluent suburb, said Joumana Kidd had a
swollen lip and was bleeding inside her mouth.
Police said Kidd admitted striking her. He was arrested on
suspicion of domestic abuse, appeared before a magistrate Thursday
night and was released to the custody of his attorney.
The incident occurred just days after Miller decided to drop an
intimidation charge against Kidd's backcourt mate, Penny Hardaway.
Hardaway had been accused by the mother of his 8-year-old daughter
of intimidating her by carrying a gun during an argument outside
his Paradise Valley home. The charge was dropped when the woman
declined to cooperate further in the case.
Kidd was not in uniform for Friday night's game against Golden State. Colangelo said Kidd would sit out the game "due to the circumstances at hand." Without Kidd, Phoenix suffered a 103-95 loss to the Warriors.
"It should be noted that Joumana, Jason and the Phoenix Suns
agree that the focus should be on their personal family issues,"
Colangelo, who has dealt with other cases involving alleged
domestic abuse by his athletes, has described such incidents as
part of a serious societal problem.
Kidd's arrest was a shock because the pair had been held up as a
model pro sports couple. Together they had been hosts of a local
telecast of the annual New Year's Eve celebration in Tempe.
"Joumana and Jason are very special people as far as the
Phoenix Suns are concerned," Colangelo said. "Joumana has been a
very big part of the Phoenix Suns family and we care about them
both very much. We know they love each other. We know there are
issues to be worked out. They need time to make that happen."
In the 911 call, Joumana Kidd said she didn't need medical
"Don't worry about me," she said. "This is minor compared to
what I usually go through."
Kidd said he couldn't comment on whether anything like this had
happened before, but said, "I have issues that I have to work on."
Kidd had a run-in with police while a student at California, and
he had a turbulent early career with the Dallas Mavericks, but had
been a model citizen publicly since he came to the Suns.
He and his wife operate the Jason Kidd Foundation, which contributes to the Phoenix Children's Hospital and Phoenix Boys and
Girls Club, among other causes.
But the 911 tape and subsequent police report shows a far from
On the 911 tape, Kidd can be heard shouting in the background.
Police said that Joumana Kidd was crying when they arrived
following the 5:44 p.m. call to 911. She said she and her husband
had been arguing since he got home.
About 5 p.m., Joumana Kidd said, she decided to go to the gym
and asked Jason if he would watch and feed their 2-year-old son,
T.J. Police said Kidd took a french fry from the boy's plate, and
his wife told him not to eat the child's food.
"Jason then turns towards Mrs. Kidd and spits the french fry at
Mrs. Kidd, striking her in the face," the police report said.
"Mrs. Kidd turns away from Jason. Jason then strikes Mrs. Kidd in
the face while holding a container of yogurt in his hand"
Police said Joumana Kidd ran upstairs to her bedroom and locked
the door, but her husband kicked the door open. She said she went
to the bathroom and locked the door again.
Mrs. Kidd called police, but hung up before authorities could
answer. Paradise Valley police called the number, and talked to
Jason Kidd first, then his wife.
He offered no resistance when informed of the arrest.
Kidd, considered perhaps the best point guard in the NBA, has
five triple-doubles this season and 36 in his career. He likely
will be voted as a starter in the All-Star game.
|Jason Kidd and Suns owner Jerry Colangelo address the media Friday concerning Kidd's arrest on domestic violence charges.|
Intimidation charge against Suns' Hardaway to be dropped
Warriors overtake Kidd-less Suns, end six-game skid
Jason Kidd says he loves his wife and his family.
avi: 2135 k
RealVideo: 56.6 | ISDN | T1