Exclusive: FBLA Interview with Jay Mariotti

If “So What Do You Do, Jay Mariotti” wasn’t enough for you, we have more from our exclusive interview with the former Around the Horn contributor and Venice resident.

In Part II, Jay Mariotti discusses in greater detail his relationship with Alison W., his departure from ESPN and what’s next for the opinionated sports columnist.

Did your legal troubles affect your relationship with your daughters? What did they initially think when they found out you were arrested?

The only call they allowed me to make from jail was to my oldest daughter. She kept her cool and she said, “Dad, this isn’t you.” They knew I was living out here now and they didn’t know who this woman was. It saddens me but to this day, the relationship is great. One is still in college at Syracuse. She’s overseas in London on an exchange program. The other one is working at McGraw-Hill. Great relationship and they understand everything. But they trust their dad.

Did they read the book?

Yeah. I told them it was coming. They knew a lot of the book would be about Chicago. This is only 10 chapters out of the 23. I think some of the bits and pieces might have shocked them, especially this last time around.

Since your book has been out, have you heard from Alison W’s attorney, Leonard Levine?

I don’t expect to. No. I think he’s a coward. He’s a man who tried to talk my current attorney into not defending me. I’ve never heard anything like that in my life. Leonard Levine called Shawn Holley and said I don’t think you should be representing this guy. She of course said you don’t know what’s going on here. You don’t know his side of the story. That’s the thing I had a problem with, Marcus. I never had a chance to tell my side of the story. This is unusual. I told it in the book. Take it or leave it, but that’s my side.

When you first met Alison W., did you think she was more interested in you or your money?

I think she had troubles at the time and she latched on to a fun that guy that might take her places and show her a new life. But I realized pretty early that she was abusive. It’s sad because you think someone is interested in you, and you start to realize … no. They’re trying to take advantage of you. I learned a tough lesson.

Looking back at things now, do you regret not paying Alison W. off in order to make this entire situation go away?

No, because I knew in the back of my mind that I was going to tell the story. I’m a writer and I’m a storyteller. I’m going to tell the story in a book. I was shocked a few days after the original plea bargain that I have to deal with situations where she’s calling the police. For instance, you and I might be here in doing this. If she walks in here and my back is to her, she can call the police and they can take me away. That’s how absurd a protective order is. I’m trying to educate people about the LAPD, protective orders and things people never think about unless they’re in the middle of these things. Do I regret it? No, because she didn’t get a penny of mine. I’m very proud of that. I think she was going to ask for a helluva lot of money. While I have lost a lot of money, at least I kept my principals here and didn’t allow her to get it. That meant a lot to me.

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