Friday, August 26, 2011

The Wooo of Ric Flair

This article is fascinating, especially if you are a wrestling fan... its a bit depressing, but its like a modern day "The Wrestler"... taken from, by Shane Ryan... warning, there is some harsh language, made through quotes, in the entire article...

Ric Flair has been physically attacked by at least three of his four wives.

In a 2005 divorce case with Elizabeth Harrell — wife no. 2 — Flair's lawyers detailed their accusations. "On more than one occasion," they wrote, "Plaintiff (Beth) has assaulted the Defendant (Flair), striking him about the head and body in an effort to provoke him into a physical confrontation."

In 2009, Flair filed a criminal complaint against Tiffany Vandemark — wife no. 3 — whom he accused of "hitting him in the face with a phone charger."

And in 2010, Flair and his current wife, Jacqueline Beams, returned to their Charlotte, N.C., home after dinner at the Lodge Restaurant. There, for reasons never made explicit, Jacqueline punched him repeatedly in the face. She was arrested.

The story of Ric Flair was once about a college dropout who rose through the ranks of professional wrestling to become a legend. It was about his nickname, "The Nature Boy," and his signature figure four leglock, both lifted from an older wrestler named Buddy Rogers. It was about his multiple championships, his bleach-blond hair, his fast-talking patter (by his own reckoning, Flair was a "stylin', profilin', limousine-riding, jet-flying, kiss-stealing, wheelin'-n'-dealin' son of a gun!"), and his signature, trademarked cry: "WOOO!"

Today the story is about a man known in the court system as Richard Morgan Fliehr, 62, born in 1949 and adopted by parents who raised him in Minnesota. That's what he was called this past April, when a judge ejected Fliehr from his Charlotte home because he couldn't pay his rent. That's what he was called in May, when he faced an arrest order for an unpaid $35,000 loan. That's what he's called on the paychecks from Total Nonstop Action, a second-tier outfit where he's still compelled to perform despite suffering from alcoholic cardiomyopathy, and where almost everything he earns goes toward old debts: lawyers, ex-wives, the IRS, former business partners, and anyone who made the mistake of lending him money.

Richard Fliehr declined to comment on the legal matters discussed in this story.

The Mecklenburg County courthouse in Charlotte contains thousands of pages documenting Fliehr's legal adventures. There, it's possible to unearth the gory specifics of a lifetime: how he passed out after attacking his son Reid in a fit of anger after the boy broke his drunken mother's arm by pushing her out of an elevator; how he lost a fistfight with his daughter's boyfriend; how he exposed his genitalia to airline attendants.1 One can also read how Fliehr allegedly flew into steroid-induced rages against his wife and children; how he suffered anxiety attacks and at least one nervous breakdown, how he broke his back in a 1974 plane crash; how he was mistreated by powerful bosses such as Eric Bischoff; how he bought millions of dollars' worth of jewelry for the women in his life; how he was cited for letting a drunk 20-year-old woman drive his car in North Carolina; how he used the same NWA title belt as collateral for two different loans.

Taken together, the information produces a rough timeline that illustrates Fliehr's self-destructive impulses. It includes excesses that Hollywood screenwriters wouldn't have the audacity to invent, and yet it follows its own logic — one bad decision comes after another, each magnifying the damage of the one to follow.

1990: Fliehr's poor decision-making expressed itself from the beginning of his professional career, but the consequences began to emerge after his 40th birthday.

He had a lifelong enemy in the IRS. Throughout the '80s, he did not pay his taxes. Finally, the state of North Carolina issued its reckoning: a 1990 notice that he owed more than $62,000 in back taxes from 1982, '83, and '88. Fliehr presumably paid without consequence. He wouldn't always be so fortunate.

November 1990, Fliehr was caught traveling 95 mph in a 65 mph zone in Beckley, W.Va. He was forced to apply for a restricted license so he could drive from airports to his wrestling events. The superior court granted his request almost a full year later.

The same year, a woman named DeAnn Siden began to stalk Fliehr. Siden spent the next eight years following him from city to city, getting kicked out of wrestling venues, and eventually threatening his life. She claimed the two had an affair.

During the time of the stalking, Fliehr had been married to his second wife, Elizabeth, for seven years. They would have two children, Ashley and Reid. His first marriage to Leslie Goodman lasted from 1971 to 1983 and produced two other children, David and Megan.

1991: In August, Fliehr switched from WCW to the WWF. The NWA filed a lawsuit against him, angry that he was using his NWA title belt from 1990 in televised WWF promotions. Fliehr refused to return the belt, but a judge ruled that he could not use it for any commercial purpose. Additionally, he was barred from referring to himself as the NWA champion.

1992: DeAnn Siden, the stalker, gave birth to a girl named Tiffany. She claimed the child was Fliehr's.

1996: Macrolease International, a New York company, sued Fliehr for failure to pay $66,000 in gym equipment and fees for his Gold's Gym in Hickory, N.C. They earned a default judgment, meaning that Fliehr chose not to plead or defend himself in any way. This is the first documented sign of Fliehr's inability or refusal to repay his debts.

In March, Fliehr was arrested for letting a 20-year-old woman named Colleen McCune drive his car with a blood alcohol content almost twice the legal limit.

1997: A Charlotte painter named John Henighen received a $1,500 judgment for work on the Fliehr home. "We painted their large house inside and out," he wrote. "Had one day's work left for one painter and they would not let us complete the work and have not paid a red penny towards all the painting we did, which took 3 weeks or more and she Mrs. Fliehr treated us badly. Rude."

Fliehr, unhappy with a proposed three-year contract with WCW, missed several appearances and was sued as a result. He countersued soon thereafter, complaining of mistreatment, especially by executive producer Eric Bischoff. While his appearances were being reduced, wrestlers like Hulk Hogan were promoted. Fliehr and his lawyers alleged that Bischoff treated him "in an increasingly hostile, rude, threatening and degrading manner. … [Bischoff's] language is crude, rude and 'socially unacceptable' even in the world of professional wrestling. He has threatened to bankrupt Plaintiff, put Plaintiff out of work, banish him to some foreign country and has referred to him as 'garbage.'"

They settled, and Fliehr stayed with WCW until 2001.

On January 3, DeAnn Siden phoned Fliehr and threatened to kill him and her own daughter if he didn't meet with her. She later phoned Elizabeth multiple times, voicing threats such as, "You will be sorry, you b***h!" and "You bitch, you are not going to get away with this!" Over the next month, Fliehr and Elizabeth identified several of her calls coming from the McDonald's restaurants where she worked.

After these calls and years of confrontations, Fliehr finally had his lawyers pursue criminal warrants for Siden's arrest.

In response, Siden made the bizarre move to...

The Summer of Blogging Day Sixty Five

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