NEW YORK — Former Dodger and Padre Steve Garvey charges that a book by his ex-wife is part of a methodical campaign to bring him down.
In an interview for the television program, "A Current Affair," Garvey lashes out at Cyndy Garvey for writing, "The Secret Life of Cyndy Garvey," with Andy Meisler. The book paints an unflattering picture of the one-time first baseman.
"She really does hate me," Garvey says of his former wife. "That is her sole goal in life . . . to bring me down, or she's using this hate as an example of a love she still has for me . . .
"She may despise me, she may hate me, she may be on a vendetta, and she has been for 10 years now. Deep down I just can't hate her."
Garvey, who has a talk show on a San Diego radio station, says he is responding reluctantly.
"In many ways, she probably does still love me," he says. "But I can't continue to accept this vicious criticism, lies and innuendoes without coming out and finally saying something. I tried to avoid any rebuttal because I wanted to stay above it all. I wanted to stay above the book that comes out and slanders the father of her children.
"I don't hate Cyndy. I feel sorry for her. I'm embarrassed for her. Everything inside the book that has any interest has been about me. The excerpts that I've read have all been very pointed in my direction and laced with malice and defamation."
In the book, released earlier this month, Cyndy Garvey accuses her husband of becoming aloof and distant during their marriage. She also wrote that he had an affair.
"The real Steve was taken over by a made-up image," she wrote. "He wanted to be perfect all the time as if he were being watched. . . . The only place our marriage seemed to work was on television."
Garvey, who cultivated a gentlemanly persona during his playing days, was the target of a paternity suit filed in April by an Atlanta women who claims she is carrying his child.
Garvey admitted at the time that he might have impregnated her, and also a San Diego woman. He admits that he was unfaithful during his marriage.
"I did commit adultery, if adultery is having a relationship in a marriage with another woman," he says. "I learned from that. At this point in my life, I'd like to think that I have good judgment."
Garvey hopes to enter politics and says his recent problems have not dampened such ambitions.
"Hopefully, if that time and place comes, and people want me to run for office . . . I'll do it," he says.