Dueling Lawsuits Trial Set To Begin Between Rams’ Faulk, Ex-Girlfriend

May 02, 2003

The mother of three of Marshall Faulk’s children accuses the St. Louis Rams’ star running back of beating her. The NFL MVP in 2000 counters that she is a liar engaged in "an unfortunate attempt at a money-grab."

A St. Louis County jury could begin ferreting it all out Monday, when the dueling lawsuits between Helen Dunne and Faulk are to go to trial.

Faulk and Dunne seek unspecified damages from each other in the case, filed last year. Court records show that Presiding Judge Barbara Wallace had tried to mediate the matter.

No criminal charges have been filed against Faulk, who Dunne accuses in the lawsuit of assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional duress. Dunne, now 27 and living in Houston, also wants punitive damages.

Dunne alleges that Faulk beat her, bit her and blackened her eye during their on-again, off-again relationship that began in 1996 when they met at a party.

Court documents say Dunne lived with Faulk in Indianapolis when he was a running back there for the Colts. Their first child was born in May 1997, and Faulk was traded to the Rams in summer 1999.

In October 1999, Dunne apparently traveled to Chicago and quarreled with Faulk when she returned. She said Faulk hit her, bit her and grabbed her by the neck. Court records suggest that Dunne was treated that time at a hospital.

"Whether I pushed her or pulled her, I mean, that might be so," Faulk later said in a sworn statement, denying he hit Dunne.

In an affidavit she submitted with police on Oct. 28, 1999, Dunne wrote, "It is my serious belief that I was the aggressive party in the incident, and I wish not to prosecute Mr. Faulk in any capacity."

Four days later, Dunne’s then-attorney Vanessa Antoniou wrote to a prosecutor asking that no charges be considered against Faulk, given that "[Dunne] says she was the aggressor."

Faulk’s attorneys, Thomas Magee and Scott Rosenblum, are citing those documents in their case against Dunne. Dunne’s attorneys, Charles Todt and Tonya Fifer, argue their client was suffering from battered woman syndrome when she decided not to pursue charges.

Still, Faulk denied Dunne’s claims that he struck her and cracked her lip. Faulk said she suffered the injury while they playfully wrestled, and that he quickly apologized. He also denied a fight she alleges took place in a bathroom in mid-1997.

Dunne has also accused Faulk of hitting her in summer and fall 2000, claims that Faulk denies.

Faulk said he provided child support. Last month, Wallace ordered Faulk to provide last year’s income tax return and a report on his assets to experts for Dunne’s attorneys. The judge also told Faulk to supply the names of the mothers of his three other children.

Faulk’s lawyers allege that Dunne’s claim of domestic abuse is baseless and that she is abusing the legal process by subjecting Faulk to a trial.

"It is our belief that the only victim is Marshall Faulk," Rosenlum said Thursday, adding that "all it takes to file a lawsuit is $125. We are confident a jury will agree with us that this is an unfortunate attempt at a money-grab at Mr. Faulk’s expense."

Dunne attorney Todt declined to comment Thursday and said his client had nothing to say outside court.