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Martina Navratilova sued for millions by 'wife' after being 'dumped without warning'


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Martina Navratilova sued for millions by 'wife' after being 'dumped without warning'



Last updated at 1:17 PM on 24th June 2009




Tennis legend Martina Navratilova is being sued for millions of pounds by a former lover who claims she was dumped without warning after nearly eight years.

Toni Layton, 56, who married the nine-times Wimbledon champion in an official wedding ceremony, is demanding a share of four multi-million dollar homes bought during their time together.


Her lawsuit extends to the 'emotional, mental and physical trauma' she suffered after being 'removed' from 52-year-old Navratilova's life a year ago.


Layton said: 'Martina has got a fight on her hands. Without any warning, my life came crashing down around me. I was kicked out on the streets with only the clothes on my back.'







Toni Layton, right, has filed a 'domestic partnership lawsuit' against Martina Navratilova, claiming she endured 'emotional, mental and physical trauma'



The lawsuit claims the couple agreed to 'evenly share' all funds and assets earned and obtained by either while together' when they wed in New Hampshire in 2000.


This includes a classic Mercedes Benz, two Land Rovers, a Jeep, a speedboat, two jet-skis, two scooters and two all-terrain vehicles.

It also claims Navratilova, 52, has refused to return gifts including jewellery, a bicycle, ceramic pots, pets and even three guns - two shotguns and a pistol.







The romance began in 2000 when Toni had been in New Hampshire visiting friends and Martina decided to join her.

'Our first kiss was outside a 7/11 store,' remembered Toni. 'She offered me an orange, then began crying as she reminisced about the first time she had ever done that to anyone, for her beloved grandmother.

'I leaned over to kiss her on the cheek in comfort and it just happened. Everything fell into place for both of us.'


article-1195164-001F4F411000044C-129_468x542.jpg Happier times: The couple, pictured in 2004, were unofficial married at a wedding ceremony and agreed to 'evenly share' all funds and assets


A month later, they were 'married' in an unofficial ceremony at Mount Washington State Park in New Hampshire.

This is the second time Czech-born Navratilova faces having her private life exposed in court.

Layton's claim exactly mirrors that of Navratilova's only other long-term lover, Judy Nelson, who was also cast aside by the tennis champ, in 1991, after more than seven years.

Nelson, who left her husband and two young sons to set up home with Navratilova, later sued for $7.5 million in a high profile court case, which gave birth to the phrase 'galimony.'


For her part, Layton said: 'I was left an emotional wreck, with nothing to show for eight years of my life.I still suffer nightmares today. It's something I don't think I will ever properly recover from.


'But what I want now is justice. Justice for all those lost, wasted years.'

The couple spent the first three years of 'married life' flitting between Navratilova's homes in New Jersey and Aspen, Colorado.

But in 2003 they bought a $2m property complete with white-picket fence outside the coastal town of Nokomis, near Sarasota, after Martina fell in love with Florida on a business trip and then the smaller $1.5m house next door.

Another house down the road followed to accommodate Navratilova's trainers and friends with whom she practised tennis and in 2005 the added a $1.25m 30-acre farm nearby

It is these four purchased properties that Layton is making a claim on.

But she realises that in Florida, a state that doesn't recognise gay rights, her chances of success are qualified.

This prompted her to scoff at the tennis legend's advocacy of gay and animal rights.



article-1195164-001860C41000044C-59_468x652.jpg Navratilova has won the women's singles title at Wimbledon a record nine times


'Marti makes out she's a champion of gay rights and sees herself as an icon for the gay and lesbian community. She has publicly urged people who are gay to 'come out' and stand up for their homosexuality.'


'Yet here she is, hiding behind Florida's antiquated anti same-sex laws, trying not to give me a fair deal for those eight years I was there for her at every minute of the day and night.

'If I was a man, married or not, I'd be entitled to half of everything that she earned during those years together. But because I'm a woman, it seems, rather conveniently, she believes I'm entitled to next to nothing.

'Marti knew that when she decided it was time to get rid of me and move on with her life. And that is why I am having to sue for a breach of our partnership.'

Layton is also fighting to save a 20-acre sanctuary the pair set up together to save abandoned or unwanted animals, a 30-minute drive from the home they once shared at Casey Key, near the town of Nokomis.


Navratilova is now trying to sell the sanctuary. Layton claims she wants rid of it with 'no regard' for what happens to the 100 animals it is home to.

Last year Navratilova, who now regularly works as a commentator, surprised everyone by agreeing to battle it out in the Australian outback with a bunch of Z-listers in ITV's I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here.

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were unofficial married? how is that? or is official or is not... :uhoh:

official meaning legaly?.. if they were married ilegaly how they can break that statement using the legal way if they have never done it legaly? :confused:


It's clearly a "lesbian" thing!!:P

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