In the lyrics made famous by Swedish super group ABBA, ‘Money, money, money, it’s a rich man’s world’. The world of professional sports is the same the world over as leagues have become corporations that in some cases own a day of the week (NFL=Sunday) and sometimes a night (Hockey Night In Canada=Saturday Nights). As the leagues have grown, the paydays for the owners and operators of the clubs that inhabit those leagues have exponentially rocketed to the top of the charts. Players formed unions years ago to ensure that they got a cut of the profits and were not exploited in the workplace. In doing so, they have been catapulted to the upper echelons of fame and prosperity.
Over the years many professional athletes have used that same fame and prosperity to, how do I put this delicately, cheat on there wives a whole bunch. That sounds about right. If we follow the money it will always paint a pretty clear picture of how things are going down in the world around us. In many infamous cases following the money in a pro athletes bank account will point directly to a side piece paid to hush up and protect a scumbag's faltering marriage and public image. But hey, they got the money, why not use it? Let’s see who’s dishing out the cash to keep the ladies quiet. These are 15 athletes you didn't know had to pay off mistresses to keep quiet.
15 Reggie Bush
Reggie Bush is a professional football player who dashed onto the NFL stage in 2006 with the New Orleans Saints. He quickly made a name for himself as a dominant running back. He even has a Super Bowl ring to his name. With fame and championships come big paydays and Reggie has made a lot of money over his career. With lots of money comes beautiful women and Reggie has dated a lot during his prime. He dated at least one other woman while married to his wife. It came to light last year that Bush conceived a child with mistress Monique Exposito. After the fact, Bush offered Expostio $3 million in order for her to keep quiet and terminate the pregnancy. It looks like the pay off didn’t work as Exposito gave birth to the alleged love child.
14 Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods is one of the most prolific golfers to ever grace the PGA tour. He is considered one of the best of all time no questions asked. He is also one of the biggest examples of the parable of Icarus who flew too close to the sun on wings of wax and plummeted to earth not seeing the warning signs. In our case we all got to watch the flaming fireball of Tiger plummet from the highest of heights to the lowest of lows when it was revealed that he had been carrying on numerous affairs behind his wife's back for years with a bevy of beautiful ladies. It turns out Tiger really didn’t want one mistress in particular to spill the beans and had a lawyer draw up a $10 million settlement to keep mistress Rachel Uchitel quiet.
13 Deion Sanders
"Neon" Deion Sanders was a very accomplished NFL player who could play both sides of the ball as a cornerback and sometimes wide receiver. He made his mark on the league by helping the two most dominant teams of the 90’s become champions, winning a Super Bowl with both the San Fransisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys. With all that glitter on his fingers, Sanders must have been attracting a lot of attention from the ladies. You guessed it, this caused his marriage to suffer. Pilar Sanders, Deion’s wife, filed for a messy divorce and during the proceedings she attempted to contact Deion’s mistress Aleea Stanton. Pilar claimed her husband had paid her off to keep quite so it wouldn’t come back to bite him in court.
12 Mario Balotelli
Mario Balotelli is best known as the flashy Italian Striker who has played soccer for some of the world's top tier clubs around the English and Italian leagues. Some other people know him as the striker who slept with the same escort that English footballer Wayne Rooney had a team experience with. Both images of Mario are correct. Balotelli did indeed have a relationship with the infamous Jenny Thompson, who stated that Balotelli was much better than Rooney in the lovemaking department at that he was probably in the top 10 of the over 100 men that she had been with. Good job Mario… I guess. The problem is that the pro soccer player had a girlfriend at the time and it was rumoured that Balotelli paid off Thompson to keep quiet. Not sure it worked!
11 Kevin Garnett
Anything is possible for Kevin Garnett. The big man was an amazing competitor on the court, eventually winning an NBA championship with the Boston Celtics in 2008. The man was a 15 time NBA All-Star and must have been an All-Star with the ladies. This probably didn’t go over well with his wife. Garnett Allegedly started an affair with Timberwolves cheerleader Krissy Freiberg which must have seriously hurt his wife Brandi Padilla. Word on the street is that Krissy actually moved to Boston when Garnett relocated there to try to win a championship. Now I don’t know how much money cheerleaders make but my bet is Kevin paid her off to be closer to him and his NBA dreams. Changing cities isn’t cheap.
10 Stephon Marbury
Stephon Marbury is a 2 time NBA All-Star who has been playing overseas in China since 2010. He had a bright career in the NBA and rose to the top of his sport, which probably attracted the attention of a lot of beautiful women. Too bad Stephon was married! After engaging in an affair with personal chef Thurayyah Mitchell in 2006 behind his wife's back, Marbury and Mitchell entered into a legal agreement that she would receive $900, 000 to keep quiet about the affair. The best part about this story is that Marbury didn’t pay Mitchell the whole sum and the matter was dragged in front of a judge. The court ruled that Marbury had to complete the final payment of $340, 000. Stephon, pay what you owe man!
9 Hank Baskett
Hank Baskett was a pro football player who played with the Vikings, the Eagles, and the Colts over a 5 year career in the NFL. Hank was a mediocre wide receiver and toiled away on special teams but never quite got his footing in the NFL. His greatest achievement came off the field when he landed Kendra Wilkinson, former The Girls Next Door star and playboy playmate. Back in 2014 Hank messed up big and had an intimate encounter with a transexual. Oops! Hank met Ava Sabrina London at a condo in California where they fooled around a bit. It is alleged that Baskett paid her $2000 dollars to keep quite about the whole meet up. It was a nice attempt to hide the truth from his bombshell wife but it all came to light eventually.
8 Donald Penn
Donald Penn has had a pretty good career as an NFL offensive tackle, staying in the league for nearly a decade. He's been protecting quarterbacks and cashing a pretty nice paycheque while doing so. It’s too bad that Penn didn’t focus more on protecting his marriage and keep his affairs quiet. Recently his wife took to twitter to put Donald’s alleged mistress Camille Poindexter on blast, stating that Camille was a rat and that Poindexter's last name isn’t PENN. Dominique Penn goes on to imply that her husband has been paying off Camille to keep the affair on the down low… which was probably a good call seeing how Dominique has reacted publicly and explosively to the whole situation. Better put those dollars to better use and hire a lawyer Donald.
7 Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony is a 10 time NBA All-Star and 3 time Olympic Gold Medalist. He is currently a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder after some very successful stints with the Denver Nuggets and the New York Knicks. ‘Melo has been a high profile player for over a decade and with that kind of attention you get some admirers of the female persuasion. This isn't always the best thing when you’re married. The mistress in the middle of Carmelo and wife La La’s split is a co-ed from Chicago who is pregnant with his baby. The two planed to ‘take care of it’ quietly until one of Mia Angel Burks' friends leaked her name to the press. In case you didn’t know, ‘take care of’ = support financially.
6 Shaquille O’Neal
Shaq is a big dumb champion. He can be a smart guy at times, but so much of what he does is just so questionable. He has had numerous affairs that have come to the public's attention, which is no surprise when you live as loud as the big man does. He’s won so many championships that it’s that much harder not to notice him with a girl that’s not his wife because of all those rings on his fingers. In 2008, Shaq was accused of stalking and threatening to derail the music career of his former mistress MaryJane (Alexis Miller) if their affair became public. He allegedly paid other hip-hop artists not to work with her. Maybe Shaq didn’t exactly pay her off, but finances were defiantly involved.
5 Tie Domi
Tie Domi is known as one of the best pests and fighters to ever lace up skates in the NHL. He is loved universally for following the code of honour that exists between combatants on the ice. Unfortunately Tie didn’t carry that code of honour into his marriage. In 2006 it was alleged that Domi had an affair with a member of the Canadian Parliament, namely MP Belinda Stronach (talk about a Canadian power couple). This didn’t go over so well with Domi’s wife Leanne and, in my favourite turn of events on this list, Domi told his estranged wife that he would give HER money and a house to keep quiet about his mistress. It’s not often the wife is the one who gets offered hush money!
4 Bobby Petrino
Dumb moves in marriage are not only made by the players on the field but also by the coaches and management on the sidelines. This case involves former Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino. College coaches make exorbitantly more money than the players on the field who make none. This means they have no problem splashing it around once in a while. Let’s say some spend it on motorcycles that they may like to ride. And if we’re lucky enough sometimes those college coaches crash said motorcycles while their co-ed mistress is riding on the back. And sometimes we’re lucky enough to find out that the coach has hired his co-ed mistress for a 55K-a-year assistant position which in our mind constitutes a pay off. We were that lucky in the case of Bobby Petrino and his mistress/assistant Jessica Dorrell. Talk about an embarrassment!
3 Rick Pitino
Current Louisville head coach Rick Pitino has had plenty of success on the basketball sidelines. He has coached for some big names at both the college and NBA levels with teams like the Knicks, the Celtics, Kentucky, and an incredible stint with Louisville. He has a 770-269 (0.741) winning record as a college coach. With those kinds of numbers comes some mighty big paycheques. Pitino is a great tactician, which is why it’s such a shame that he made the biggest bone head move of cheating on his wife. To make matters worse, it was with a pretty crazy lady. In 2009 it became public knowledge that Pitino had engaged in an affair with Karen Sypher and had paid her $3000 to receive an abortion. Then Sypher turned around and tried to extort Pitino which lead to her imprisonment. She is still under federal supervision.
2 Putin And Alina Kabaeva
Alina Kabaeva was one of gymnastics' biggest names for years, cleaning up world championships at an alarming rate. That kind of gold gets you noticed in Russia, and it may have gotten Alina noticed by the one of the most powerful men in the world. It has long been alleged that Vladimir Putin and Alina Kabaeva have been conducting secret missions with each other of a private nature. Neither of them have ever confirmed these claims (as Putin is a married world leader) but it’s safe to assume that it’s tough to say no to either of these two if they see something they want. I can’t confirm money has ever changed hands but in the secretive world of Russian espionage it’s better left unsaid. Alina did however land a job in Russia's parliament representing the pro-kremlin United Party.
1 Dean Jones
Cheating on your wife is not just confined to North American sports, men all over the world are idiots. Let’s take a trip to the island continent of Australia and see what the mates are getting up to down there. Dean Jones was an accomplished international cricket player and then commentator for the Australian side who made a name for himself over two decades of play. in 2010 it came to the nations attention that the once named ‘Father of the Year 2007” (in his home province of Victoria) had fathered a love child with a flight attendant from Sydney, Australia. In a report, Jones claimed - “I can also confirm that I have supported the mother and child more generously than was agreed”. This tells me that he was likely financially supporting her before the news became public, probably at the request that she keep the affair and child quiet.