Ya’ll Couldn’t Have Had A Family Meeting?? Olympic Gold Medalist Sued For Defamation By Her Own Parents

September 10, 2012  |  

The celebration is definitely over for sprinter Tianna Madison who won gold at the London Olympics this summer as part of the 4×100 meter relay team. The ladies actually set a new world record after the race, but unfortunately for Tianna she now has to turn her attention to legal matters — like the lawsuit her parents have filed against her.

According to the Chronicle-Telegram:

This week, Jo Ann and Robert Madison filed a libel, slander and defamation lawsuit against their athlete daughter, accusing her of defaming them with false statements and allegations.

The complaint, naming Tianna Madison and her husband, John Bartoletta, as defendants, states that since March of this year, the couple has repeatedly made or had published false and defamatory statements about the Madisons to various third parties, including media outlets in Ohio and Florida.

The lawsuit details allegations that Tianna Madison wrongly alleged that her parents mismanaged her finances, and that they knowingly allowed a boy who had molested her in the past to enter their home in her presence.

Tiana and her husband are refusing to comment on the suit publicly because according to Brian Butler, a spokesman for the couple:

“This should be a time for not just Tianna, but her family to celebrate all she has gone through and her winning a gold medal,” he said. “That is what she is going to focus on at this time and, I think, she is trying to take some time to enjoy the fact that she won an Olympic gold medal.”

Despite “boilerplate language” in the civil suit asking for compensatory damages in excess of $25,000 and punitive damages in excess of $25,000 plus court costs and fees, Tianna’s parents insist they didn’t file the action for financial gain. Their attorney, Scott Schooler, said the lawsuit is a means to get their daughter’s attention and hopefully one day reconcile with her.

“It was a wake-up call for Tianna to really look at the entire situation and look at what exactly is going on,” he said. “Hopefully, she will realize there is some importance in having a relationship with her parents.”

“[The Madison’s] are not seeking any financial gain. At the end of the day, they would like to restore their relationship with their daughter. Beyond that, I am not going to comment on the parameters of any possible resolution.”

Tianna’s parents no doubt also seek to clear their name by taking such a bold legal action against their own daughter, otherwise this is a matter that could have been handled privately. They maintain, however, that they had no knowledge of their daughter ever being molested, until they got word that she and her husband were shopping a pre-written article about her upbringing to several media outlets. It was around that time they also found out their daughter was planning to sue them for mismanaging finances, which actually never happened. Tianna also allegedly sent a text message to her parents Aug. 11 telling  them that after the Olympic games,  “she would ‘break the story’ of the Madisons’ ‘selfish, controlling and utterly abusive ways and treatment’ of her, and that ‘it was going to be brutal.’ ’’ The Madison’s countered those accusations with this statement about their daughter’s upbringing in the lawsuit:

“Throughout her childhood, and into adulthood, Robert Madison and Jo Ann Madison have provided Tianna Madison with a loving, supportive and generous environment, that has enabled her to achieve success as a sprinter, including her obtaining a gold medal in the 2012 Olympic Games, as well as achieving success in other athletic endeavors.”

I can’t say who’s telling the truth here, but some things definitely don’t appear to be adding up in this case. What do you think about this situation and the Madison’s suing their daughter?

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