ROCKVILLE — The estranged wife of boxing great Sugar Ray Leonard, who accused her husband of assaulting her on several occasions during their marriage, blames her husband's agent and attorney for many of the problems that plagued the couple's 10-year marriage.
"Mike Trainer played a tremendous role in the break-up of my marriage and my home," Juanita Leonard, who filed for divorce last March, said yesterday. "He had a very hard impact on the way my husband made decisions -- mostly monetary, but personal decisions also."
Mr. Trainer, and other attorneys for Mr. Leonard, could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Tomorrow, at a hearing in Montgomery County Circuit Court, she plans to ask Judge William C. Miller for an increase in the temporary alimony and child support payments -- now set at $12,000 a month -- while the divorce litigation and dispute over the validity of a prenuptial agreement are pending.
According to records unsealed last week in Montgomery County Circuit Court, Mrs. Leonard filed for divorce last spring, charging that her husband "assaulted, harassed and humiliated her" and "did commit adultery."
The court records state that Mr. Leonard confirmed in testimony an incident in which he "assaulted [Mrs. Leonard] after partaking in alcoholic beverages."
But earlier this month, attorneys for the boxing superstar filed a motion to strike Mrs. Leonard's charges, calling them "scandalous and improper" and a "gross mischaracterization" of testimony intended to sensationalize the proceedings.
Judge Miller is scheduled to consider that motion tomorrow, along with Mrs. Leonard's request for an increase in temporary support. It's been reported that Mrs. Leonard, who recently retained celebrity divorce lawyer Marvin Mitchelson, plans to ask that the monthly payments be increased to $50,000.
Mrs. Leonard, who opened a boutique at Tysons Corner shopping mall last December, seeks "enough money to meet her current living expenses, the living expenses of her children, the continued operation of her business and money to be able to make investments and put some away in savings," her attorney Ronald Jessamy said yesterday.
Currently, the Leonards have joint custody of their two sons, Ray Charles Leonard Jr., 16, and Jerrel Guilio Leonard, 6, but the children reside primarily with their mother in Bowie.
Mr. Leonard lives in a home in Potomac valued at more than $1.5 million, and earned upwards of $30 million last year, according to court records filed by Mrs. Leonard.
The Leonards were married January 1980 in Prince Georges County and separated in March 1988.
He filed for a legal separation on March 29 this year, saying, "There is no reasonable expectation of a reconciliation." On the same day, Mrs. Leonard filed for divorce.