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Lawyer: Bonds Didn't Initiate Action

August 23, 1994|From Staff and Wire Reports

Barry Bonds' lawyer defended a strike-related reduction in the outfielder's spousal and child support payments and said the decision actually grew out of his wife's demand for more money.

"This was not something Barry or myself initiated," Robert Nachshin said Monday.

It was incorrectly reported in The Times on Sunday that Bonds had asked for the hearing. It was also incorrectly reported, based on information provided by the Associated Press, that Bonds' agent, Dennis Gilbert, had said in a declaration that Bonds could not afford $15,000 a month for "family support."

Bonds, who signed a six-year, $43.75-million contract with the San Francisco Giants prior to the 1993 season, complied with the request that followed the Aug. 15 decision by San Mateo County Superior Court Commissioner George Taylor.

At the conclusion of the hearing, Taylor asked for Bonds' autograph.

Lawrence Stotter, an attorney who represents Bonds' wife, Sun, in the divorce proceeding, has complained the autograph request was inappropriate and left his client feeling "she was not playing on a level playing field."

Taylor, who keeps pictures of Babe Ruth and other players in his courtroom, was on vacation and unavailable for comment, court officials said Monday. Bonds' lawyer said, however, that all parties agreed to have him decide the case.

According to Nachshin, the hearing involved a filing by Stotter on behalf of Sun Bonds, who was seeking to boost monthly support payments to about $130,000 from $15,000.

The couple has two children, Nikolai, 4, and Shikari, 3. Divorce proceedings began in May.

Taylor's decision cut Bonds' support payments to $7,500 a month, with Bonds remaining responsible for the mortgage, taxes and insurance on their Atherton estate. In all, Bonds is continuing to pay approximately $20,000 a month toward his family's support, his lawyer said.

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