Chris Chambers’ Stalker, Divorce Lead To Release

People around the league were slightly surprised by the outright release of Chris Chambers by the San Diego Chargers earlier this week. While the veteran receiver’s production was down significantly, releases in the middle of a season don’t happen that often, and the whispers were that there had to be something more going on.

Stacey Saunders Chris Chambers' Stalker
(It’s a pretty woman’s mugshot. In the middle of a sports story. That’s never, ever a good sign.)

Boy howdy, was there ever. The woman shown above is one Stacey Saunders, a San Diego woman who, according to the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, has allegedly been intent on ruining Chris Chambers’ family for the past few months. In police reports and divorce proceedings, Chambers and his soon-to-be ex-wife claim that after a brief affair with Chambers, Saunders has been harassing him and his wife over the phone and via text message, to the point that it led to a divorce and disrupted his ability to perform on the field. So off you go, sir.

If this sounds all a bit familiar, well, it should.

Here’s an excerpt from when Steve Phillips had his dalliance with Brooke Hundley:

The son’s statement to the police is here (pops to .PDF file); here are some highlights:

  • Under the screen name “riotgirr4life,” posed as a friend from last year’s Spanish class;
  • Repeatedly asked inappropriate questions about the relationship between Steve and Marni;
  • Asked for information on the younger sons’ schedules;
  • Tried to add the son on Facebook as Brooke Hundley (to his credit, the son declined every time);
  • Posed as a different classmate and added the son, then asked for a home phone number;
  • Told the son she had watched him at football practice.

Not surprisingly, the totality of this experience has caused Marni to sue for divorce, and Phillips deeded the family home to her right around the time all of this went down.

And here’s one from when nets guard Chris Douglas-Roberts dealt with his own stalker:

1 day we had a road game in OK City. My HOTEL ROOM PHONE rang & it’s the girl! I answered & she said “I’m tired of followin u, I always get what I want. Love me like I love you.” I hung up. Paranoid as hell b/c I stay under an ALIAS in every city we go to. I immediately called our Team Security & told him what was going on.

She said she was goin on those groupie blog sites sayin she was my girl & all type of other vicious lies. I’m like damn, this my FIRST YEAR!

Now every city, my room phone was ringin off the hook. @ all hours of the night. Swear To GOD I had to unplug erry phone in the room. I was so damn worried I didn’t know what to do due to the threats. I changed my alias 5 times. It got so crazy we had to go to the FBI. This girl had developed an illusion that I actually LOVED her. That I was CHEATING on her.

And then there’s Dirk Nowitzki’s fiancee from hell, Crystal Taylor

Nowitzki hired a private investigator to check into Taylor’s background and that the investigator found that she was using an alias.

Kim Leach, a spokeswoman for the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, tells CBS 11 News that Taylor has at least eight aliases: Chrystal Ann Taylor, Crystal Ann Taylor, Debra Johnson, Shana Mancini, Krista Santiago, Crystal Ann Santiago, Cristal Westerhaus and Crista A. Westerhays.

Taylor’s friend also says Nowitzki knew Taylor had a checkered past, but adds that neither she nor Nowitzki knew Taylor had outstanding warrants.

The friend says that when Taylor was taken to the Dallas County Jail Wednesday, the staff took a urine sample and told her she’s pregnant.  An individual who spent the night in jail with Taylor also tells CBS 11 News that Taylor is claiming to be pregnant.

…who also almost derailed Tony Banks‘ career:

What, specifically, did Banks remember about Taylor’s actions and personality?

“Her being very emotional. I remember she camped out in front of my crib one time when I had another female friend in town. She (Taylor) wasn’t too happy about that.”

Soon, Banks said, Taylor began making harassing calls to him, his agent, his marketing team and even first-year Rams coach Dick Vermeil, “trying to run my name through the mud.”

All of which is to say, this is patterned behavior. Sometimes, the money and fame that come with being athlete are intoxicating, even in a second-hand way with groupies. If you give the wrong fan too much attention, say the L-word, whatever, it will come back to haunt you. We’re not assessing blame or choosing good guys or bad guys in any of these situations (except with CD-R, because that’s just plain messed up), we’re just saying: caution, gentlemen.