Sun Oct 18 01:49pm EDT
(UPDATE: While the Vegas-centric portion of this post still applies, TMZ has taken its coverage of Souray out of its main-page newsfeed; although the article remains online. See the end of this post for details on the apparent retraction from TMZ.)
The marriage between Edmonton Oilers defenseman Sheldon Souray(notes) and former "Baywatch" babe and Maxim pinup Angelica Bridges officially ended in divorce in 2007, but the brutal battle over custody of their daughters is making tabloid headlines thanks to a combination of sex, salary and Sin City.
Robin Leach (yeah, him) of Vegas DeLuxe reports that Souray's lawyer "told a family court judge in Los Angeles that her two young daughters Scarlett, 2, and Valentina, 6, would be kept in Canada away from" Bridges if she didn't quit "Fantasy," an adult revue she's top-lining at the Luxor in Las Vegas.
It was announced this week she'll temporarily leave the production, according to the Las Vegas Sun.
Bridges told Leach:
"He said living in Las Vegas was an awful lifestyle for them, and he didn't want the children in Las Vegas. The truth is it has nothing to do with that. He has tried to win me back, but because there is no reconciliation, he has vowed to ruin my life. He's threatened me, saying he'll ensure I finish up penniless and out of work."
To the end, perhaps, comes another piece of tabloid fodder from TMZ, which reports that Bridges has filed a lawsuit claiming Souray "tricked" her into signing divorce papers that shielded his huge free-agent deal with the Oilers from her.
From TMZ (Ed. Note: This story is now off the TMZ main page.)
According to the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Anjelica Bridges claims Edmonton Oilers defenseman Sheldon Souray got her to fall back in love with him after a year long separation -- then coerced her into signing divorce papers by saying they just needed a fresh start.
Anjelica claims it wasn't until after she signed the papers she found out about Sheldon's new $27,000,000 contract -- but by then it was too late to claim her share. The "Baywatch" star now wants $14 million for "special" damages -- plus the $18,000 a month she already gets for child support.
The rocky relationship between Souray and Bridges first made headlines when she made a 911 call to Montreal police from Souray's condo alleging he had assaulted her back when he was playing for the Habs. No charges were filed by Bridges or by police, who investigated the matter.
Those charges of abuse have resurfaced again in this sordid affair, as Bridges went on the offensive on her Facebook page with some rather outrageous claims, according to JT Utah and 25Stanley.com (French language):
Wow. Haven't seen that level of drama from Bridges since her role as Omegis on "Mortal Kombat Conquest."
David Staples has a terrific, must-read review of all the details in this matter over on Cult of Hockey. As he writes, we're getting Bridges's side of this thing right now and Souray has yet to speak about this latest round of nastiness.
(UPDATE: Despite a detail-packed post that went beyond the TMZ content, Staples has taken his story down. From his note in the comments on Cult of Hockey:
"It was my mistake in reporting what TMZ said and I regret it.
"Anjelica Bridges tells me that TMZ has been told the story contains inaccuracies and that it has been taken down, but I see that just as I checked now, it is still posted.
"I took down my post, though, because I now am uncertain of the facts here, at least the ones in the TMZ story.
"I should have been more careful from the start, and reported in full only the Las Vegas Sun story on this matter, especially given the sensational style of that TMZ reporting.
"Now, it's my practice to link to all stories of interest to Oilers fans and to comment on them, just as I did all summer on the Heatley matter and as I have on the on-going Pronger story. This Souray story does impact the team, so that's why I've reported on it, and will do so in the future, but I certainly should have been more cautious, which no small number of you have already, quite rightly, pointed out."
As we said at the top: TMZ has taken the story out of its newsfeed, although it's still online.)
At the heart of this mess are two young girls, and your heart goes out to them as their parents' dirty laundry and strong-arm tactics play out in the media. That's a shame.