A month ago I relayed dubious details of the breakup of Gilbert Arenas and the mother of his three children - with another on the way.
(If only the kids had a card to play. Ugh.)
Laura Govan, who was with Arenas for nine years, claimed in late December (through her publicist) to Amy Argetsinger of the WASHINGTON POST that Arenas had “abandoned” their children and left her without money to buy their kids Christmas gifts.
Last week in a Washington Post piece co-authored by the same reporter who published Govan’s earlier claims, Argetsinger, more sordid details of the relationship seemingly surfaced. But the bizarre nature of the provocative information can’t help but call into question the veracity of the details.
As part of the Post’s gossip column The Reliable Source, Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts published the following on Jan. 27:
That might have been the end of the public drama. But then Govan contacted Trope and Trope, a high-profile family law firm in Los Angeles, and met with an attorney from the firm. Somehow, nine pages of typewritten notes from their meeting ended up in the midst of a court filing in another, unrelated case handled by the firm. All the pages were filed in a public docket in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Trope and Trope did not return calls for comment. According to a court order allowing the firm to remove the notes from public record because they contained “confidential attorney-client privileged communications,” the firm “inadvertently copied and submitted” them due to a “clerical error.”
Perhaps not coincidentally, the content of those documents portrayed Arenas in an extremely negative light, including what the Post reporters called his “profligate spending.” Excerpt:
In confidential notes, Govan — who is expecting her fourth child with Arenas — describes fights where he repeatedly threw her out of the house, his profligate spending (including a shark tank/pool/grotto complex said to cost $1 million), lavish vacations and spending sprees at toy stores.
And yet they never had a nanny, Govan complains, according to the notes: “he would state ‘you had them you watch them.’ “
If Trope and Trope sounds familiar, it’s because Sorrell Trope is perhaps the leading celebrity divorce attorney on the planet. But don’t take my word for it, you can read all about him on a TMZ.com page dedicated solely to Trope. The L.A. attorney has most recently repped Oksana Grigorieva, the estranged girlfriend of Mel Gibson and Charlie Sheen’s beleaguered ex-wife Brooke Mueller.
And now Laura Govan.
It isn’t impossible to believe that Trope’s firm could’ve committed such a colossal gaffe in mistakenly including notes from the Govan-Arenas spat in a court filing for another of the firm’s cases. But for those notes, which included incredibly damaging claims against Govan’s legal adversary, to go from being buried in a random Los Angeles Superior Court civil case filing to the direct email inbox of the same Washington Post reporter who previously gave Govan a pre-Trope outlet for her abuse claims against Arenas is a coincidence defying belief.
Trope’s business model is to massage public and media perception of his client in order to win financial rewards for them. The leakage of the Arenas docs certainly fits that profile. There’s always a chance the file fumble was a completely unintended mistake on the part of Trope’s firm.
This week, for the first time, Arenas himself was confronted on the record about his breakup with Govan.