Michael Strahan and ex-wife Jean Muggli are back in court, more than a decade after their divorce was finalized. Strahan is seeking primary custody of their 15-year-old twin daughters, Sophia and Isabella, accusing Muggli of physically and emotionally abusing them. As part of the ongoing battle, Muggli's legal team claimed in Manhattan Supreme Court Friday that the former New York Giants player had private investigators following Muggli.
The child support case began back in June 2019, when Muggli accused Strahan of not paying annual cost of living adjustments for their children. On Friday, Muggli's lawyer Shannon Rogers Simpson said Strahan, who was not in court, agreed to pay part of their daughters' horseback riding costs, but did not, reports Page Six. Simpson later said Muggli was under constant surveillance by a private detective, which was why Strahan decided not to pay child support based on previous agreements.
"He had around the clock private investigators at her home," Simpson said. "He battered her financially with lawsuits. That's how determined he is to not pay child support he agreed to ten years ago... When all else failed he brought a motion in North Carolina to avoid paying."
"The notion that she is under surveillance is absurd and could never be proven," John Giardino, Strahan's lawyer, responded.
On Wednesday, TMZ reported Strahan filed for primary custody of Sophia and Isabella, claiming Muggli was abusing their children. According to legal documents, Strahan said he has evidence of Maggli's "pattern of abusive conduct towards the children for years," and he will list the evidence in sealed documents. He claims she is not taking Sophia and Isabella to court-ordered therapy sessions and their volleyball and equestrian events.
Strahan made the filing in North Carolina, where Maggli and their daughters live. Strahan wants them to move to New York, and wants the court to grant Muggli just visitation rights.
In June, Muggli filed a for a money judgement in New York, reports Page Six. A source told the outlet she wanted to more to New York City the year before so their daughters could be closer to Strahan. Ultimately, she decided to stay in North Carolina so the girls could continue horse riding. Strahan agreed to help pay the costs, but allegedly "reneged" the agreement. Muggli wanted Strahan to make child support payments under a 2009 agreement.
"Michael has always honored his commitments regarding his children. These accusations are completely false," a source close to Strahan told Page Six at the time. "The reason they are in court is that Jean continuously asks for more money. Michael intends to do what is best for his children, as he always does. He is properly handling this in the court."
Strahan and Muggli split in 2006, and their divorce was finalized in 2007. Strahan was ordered to pay Muggli $15.4 million. In 2007, a judge ordered Strahan to pay $18,000 a month in child support.
On Friday, Judge Deborah Kaplan, who made the same ruling in 2007, told the attorneys not to leak details of the court case to protect the couple's daughters.
Strahan and Muggli married in 1999. The Good Morning America co-host was married to Wanda Hutchins from 1992 to 1996, and they share daughter Tanita and son Michael Jr.
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