Former NBA player Matt Barnes is being sued by his ex-wife Gloria Govan, who’s alleging he defamed her when he publicly claimed she defrauded him while they were married.
According to The Blast, the court documents detail Govan’s claims that the pair had joint bank accounts, lived together, owned property in both of their names, and raised their children together during their marriage—and that by publicly stating she defrauded Barnes, he’s ruining her reputation as a trustworthy, reliable actress.
According to Govan, Barnes has continuously made false statements about her since their divorce and bitter custody battle, online, and in the media. The former Basketball Wives star claims any money she's owned and used has strictly come from her television work, and that Barnes claiming she embezzled money from their joint bank account on social media is tainting her career.
The list of alleged defamations doesn’t end there—Barnes also accused her of making fraudulent bank transactions, forging his name, and keeping him from seeing their children. Govan’s argument is that having these allegedly false notions in the public eye can and already have irrevocably changed her career trajectory, and influenced her income—which is why she’s seeking damages.
Meanwhile, Barnes has filed to have the lawsuit thrown out, claiming Govan is a public figure who can’t reasonably expect not to have these subjects discussed in public. He also maintains that everything he might’ve said was a matter of opinion, and thereby not legally defamatory.
This isn't the only lawsuit they are dealing with. In 2015, a man named Peter Choy sued Barnes and Govan’s brother Lonnie for allegedly leasing a property from him—a nightclub, for which he is allegedly still owed $546,000 in unpaid rent.
Barnes is currently denying all allegations in this lawsuit, as well as counter-suing Govan, her brother, and their parents, for allegedly forging his signature on the lease documents. He claims they all committed fraud against him, and that Govan transferred money from their shared account to a private bank while married. He also claims that the former couple visited the nightclub while married, and that she simply told him her brother had purchased the property.
It’s unclear how this legal mess will be resolved, but it’s an unfortunate state of affairs. Govan recently got engaged to another former basketball player, Derek Fisher.