David Duerson, Bankrupt Former Chicago Bear Who Committed Suicide, Was Sued By Ex-Wife For Super Bowl Rings

Categories: Sports

duerson.jpg
Dave Duerson, the former star Chicago Bears safety who killed himself on Thursday at his home in Sunny Isles Beach, was hemorrhaging millions in his final years, according to bankruptcy documents he filed last September.

And in December, his ex-wife claimed in a lawsuit that he had concealed assets. Among them: two Super Bowl championship rings and the trophy he received for winning the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, given for charity work, in 1987.

"That's so tragic, it's ridiculous," Mike Ditka, who coached Duerson's championship Bears in 1985, told Riptide this morning. "That's something you can't understand. First of all, if they were married-- that's your mate, why would you do that to somebody you loved? And secondly, it's just tragic to hear that he ended up that way."

Duerson played in four Pro Bowls and also won a championship with the New York Giants in 1990. A Notre Dame graduate with an economics degree, he was known for his business acumen. He owned a food company for years and served on the NFL's disability-pension board. In 2009, according to state corporation records, he co-founded Best4Broward, a charter school company.

But Duerson, who divorced wife Alicia in 2007, saw his life fall apart in the last few years. According to the bankruptcy filings, Duerson claimed a financial loss of $1.85 million in 2008. His income dried up to nothing: In 2009, he claimed, his income was -$5,106. Last year, he made $16,800.

His debt was staggering. Duerson owed more than $47,000 to the IRS for Wisconsin back taxes from 2001. And he owed $70,000 to his ex-wife for their divorce settlement. He owed $9 million for a business loan. In total, he claimed outstanding debt of almost $14.75 million.

He claimed $34.64 million in assets. All but $40,000 of that, however, was an account receivable from a 2004 Wisconsin lawsuit related to his defunct company, Duerson Foods.

Two months ago, Alicia claimed in court that Duerson had "concealed" the following assets when he filed bankruptcy:

a. Two Super Bowl championship rings acquired during his previous career as a professional football player.

b. A large bronze trophy awarded for being named the Walter Payton Man of
the Year in 1987.

c. A Rolex Submariner timepiece.

d. Various items of jewelry.

e. Substantial amounts of office furniture, including, but not limited to, a Chippendale desk.

In a court-filed response, Duerson said that if there were any omissions in his bankruptcy filings, they were "not intentional".

Duerson, who shot himself in the chest, texted family members before hand to request that his brain be examined for trauma related to his playing days, according to reports. He believed he might have chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the concussion-related disease which has been blamed for depression and suicide in football players.

Ditka says he last saw Duerson at a November reunion for the 1985 championship team in Chicago. "I talked to him and he seemed fine then," says Ditka. "I really don't know what happened. From what I've heard, I'm sure he suffered from depression from all those hits he took on the field."

"He was a hell of a leader, and a hell of a football player," adds Ditka, who publicly battled Duerson over disability-pension issues in the past. "He was a very proud man. I'm sure his financial issues were a devastating blow to his ego."

We've embedded the wife's suit concerning the Super Bowl rings below, as well as what's probably the saddest document from his bankruptcy filing: A hand-written list of all the furniture he owned.

David Duerson suit

Duerson Belongings

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15 comments
Carloslcruz56
Carloslcruz56

His rings and trophy? How many plays did she put on the pads for? Are you happy now sweetheart? Talk about kicking someone when they're down. Frickin BITCH!

Tmills
Tmills

Given that he died just a week ago in the most tragic of circumstances leaving behind a grieving family, I think it's extremely inappropriate to publish this article. You should be ashamed of yourselves. This is a page-filler, not journalism.

Ann Lee
Ann Lee

Some of the above explains why his x wife has displayed the disrespect for his family recently by having his body cremated prior to an otopsy that had been requested by his family. There was nothing that urgent that she couldn't have waited for his family to have their requests honored and hers at the same time. Instead, she willfully chose to interfere with police investigation and the family's rights to full closure as to the cause of death.As a healthcare professional of 26 years, I was appalled by the spokesperson who appeared on national television that stated there was family consent for his cremation to proceed. There was no concensus where this was concerned.She was his x wife, not his current wife and generally when two people divorce, biological family steps in as spokesperson.

Tommy
Tommy

First off, debtors are required to list all assets so the ex-wife (or any creditor with knowledge of other assets) filing something about hidden assets is not out of the ordinary. She was also the victim of domestic battery by him (he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic battery regarding the incident at the Morris Inn).

Second, there were some asset games being played. He transferred his Sunny Isles Beach condo into a trust (named Highly Favored Family Trust) with some lady in Texas as the trustee in 2008. This was done before the bankruptcy filing. Unfortunately he owed about $500K in mortgages ($260K first and about $240K in second) which is condo is now worth maybe $300K??? By the way, the condo was bought around 2000 and was in his name alone but the two mortgages included his wife so she is on the hook for those even though her name was not on the original deed and who knows who all is/are the beneficiaries of that trust now.

Third, the $34M judgment was probably worth $0...uncollectable.

Fourth, Notre Dame screwed him over after the Morris Inn incident. Instead of being there for him in his time of need, they piled on.

It is all a big tragedy. May he truly rest in peace now.....

Brownbenz430
Brownbenz430

god rest your soul david we the bear fans will always treasure you sorry about the gold digging bitch that did this to you rip my brother

mare
mare

You are so right! It is disrespectful.

Tommy
Tommy

I can't comment on the motivation of it all but after shooting yourself in the chest and donating your brain, I don't think an open casket funeral is gonna be the thing to do.

The whole thing is sad...so very sad. The ex-wife was good enough to marry and have kids with...so, I'm not gonna pile on and demonize her now. Why some marriages go south, I don't know....

Ann Lee
Ann Lee

What happened at the Morris Inn?

Johnfnaughten
Johnfnaughten

Tommy,Call me... (C) 843-301-5753... or (H) 843-785-9632John Naughten, ND'61

cleancut77
cleancut77

I agree but his Super Bowl rings? It just seems a little overdone.

mare
mare

yeah but there are other types of burials, like closed casket. I thought that once you are divorced you no longer have a say in your ex spouses end of life affairs. But if his family agreed that is another thing. I guess none of us need to know, just that this is so very sad. Suicide is so very sad. May he rest in peace

Tommy
Tommy

The incident at the Morris Inn on the ND campus happened around 2/2005. He apparently shoved his wife out their hotel room door into the hallway where she ran into the wall or something and was injured. NDSP responded (a corrupt department that covers up the bad stuff at ND...I could tell you stories and stories and stories...but then again the Fed Govt is now investigating them after some sexual assault on campus that they sorta swept under the rug...again...).

Anyway, DD was under a lot of stress from all sides and being a big guy and she is not big, she got injured. Kirk fired Hurley in the most unChristian and humiliating way and recently Kirk got the boot....oh gotta love Karma!!!

Well, ND didn't do DD any favors and instead of reaching out to help the couple heal, they dumped ("resigned") him....from the board of trustees. His life went downhill fast after that...... Very sad indeed.

After what ND did to Demetrius Jones....I stopped donating (was a Sorin Society member too). Anyway, ND has gotten to big on itself so not supporting anymore is the way to help it find religion again....I basically think ND, Inc. will never recovery back to ND Family again. And that is sad.

Tommy
Tommy

Hi John --- I didn't re-read this article until now. I hesitate to call a number on this board but what the heck I may just try this weekend. I'm a Domer too....

Jjpeters
Jjpeters

His rings and trophy? No way. Typical middle aged women whose divorced and mean as hell. I don't care what anyone says. The mere fact that she includes his rings and a bronze trophy proves she's nothing more then a gold digger who couldnt hold a job a Taco Bell.

Behind every depressed man is a bitch of a wife.

Ann Lee
Ann Lee

Alicia grew up around money and definitely presented herself as a golddigger from what I saw her at family reunions. She was aloof and difficult at best to talk to. She talked about 'it' being on his mother's side of the family. I'm not sure what she was referring to, but I don't think she meant anything positive. It was something better left alone than to state that. She didn't seem to have the social skills to be capable of pulling someone aside to tell them something in confidence if she indeed had something to say.

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