Herschelle Gibbs faces huge maintenance claim

June 24th, 2008 - 9:12 am ICT by IANS  

By Fakir Hassen
Cape Town, June 24 (IANS) South African cricketer Herschelle Gibbs may have to fork out a large part of his earnings from his Indian Professional League (IPL) debut if his wife Tenelle succeeds in her lawsuit here. Tenelle Gibbs has accused her husband, who is currently playing in English county cricket until the end of July, of abusing alcohol, having become “verbally abusive, aggressive and erratic”, according to the daily Mercury.

“(Gibbs) habitually embarrasses me at social gatherings often while under the influence of alcohol,” Tenelle said in an affidavit to the Cape High Court.

Gibbs faces a claim of maintenance for 96,950 rands per month, nearly twelve times the average salary of an office worker, nurse or teacher here.

Tenelle Gibbs said she and her husband have enjoyed a lavish lifestyle to which she had become accustomed.

Tenelle Gibbs said in the affidavit that she intends divorcing Herschelle, whom she married in the West Indies last June after a whirlwind romance.

Following recent disagreements between the couple in which Herschelle allegedly also sent Tenelle “degrading” text messages and stopped her access to his bank accounts, Tenelle lodged an application to the Cape High Court that was due to be heard last Thursday.

The hearing was adjourned to August, after Herschelle’s return from the UK, following his intimation that he would oppose the application.

In the interim, Gibbs has reportedly agreed to pay the amounts needed for June and July to cover home rent, electricity, insurance, domestic help, gardening, pool maintenance, security, a vehicle, and medical aid.

According to Tenelle Gibbs’ submission, her husband had an IPL contract for 4.75m rands until 2010; a 2m rands contract with Cricket South Africa, and a 1.2m rands contract with Glamorgan Cricket in the UK. In addition to this, there were also unspecified earnings from sponsorships.

Gibbs has been at the centre of several controversies, including alleged involvement in the match fixing saga of 2000 with his then captain Hansie Cronje. He was banned for six months and it took Indian authorities who wanted to talk to him about the match-fixing allegations six years to finally question him after Gibbs repeatedly refused to tour the subcontinent, fearing arrest.

On the tour of the West Indies in 2001, Gibbs was found guilty of smoking marijuana, along with several teammates.
In 2007, Gibbs was banned for several matches after being found guilty of making racist comments during a Test against Pakistan.

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