Why a Houston attorney in A-Rod divorce?

July 7, 2008 4:32:31 PM PDT
Eyewitness News was first to tell you on our web site Sunday that prominent Houston divorce attorney Earle Lilly has been hired to represent Cynthia Rodriguez in her divorce from New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez. A Florida attorney helping in the case filed divorce papers for Cynthia Rodriguez Monday morning in Miami. In the filing, Rodriguez claims her husband, 'Emotionally abandoned his wife and children.' The couple has two daughters. The youngest is just three months old. [READ THE FILING].

Just last week, there were reports that Alex Rodriguez had been making late night visits to singer Madonna at her New York City apartment. Both Rodriguez and Madonna have denied any impropriety.

So why would Cynthia Rodriguez hire a Houston attorney to represent her? Houston attorney Earle Lilly says Cynthia Rodriguez hired him because he'd worked previously for her brother-in-law and had success in his case. Lilly says that and his high profile history led the Miami resident to contact him here in Houston.

Even before the divorce documents were filed in a Florida courthouse, the newspapers with their salacious allegations in their headlines were flying off the shelves.

"That the marriage is irretrievably broken," said Maurice Kutner, one of two lawyers hired by Mrs. Rodriguez.

The other lawyer she hired is Lilly.

"He is, I think, would be a leading attorney in the divorce area, not only in Houston, but probably around the country," said Houston attorney Don Graul, who went to law school with Lilly in the early 60s.

Graul watched as Lilly took on several high profile cases though the years, including at 2002 paternity suit filed against boxer George Foreman in 2002 and the matrimonial suit filed in the early 90s by a woman against former Yankees outfielder Dave Winfield.

"Earle has, over the years, developed this very high profile," said Graul. "And he's done so many big cases."

Lilly tells Eyewitness News that a rumored affair between A-Rod and Madonna was the catalyst for Cynthia Rodriguez to file for divorce.

According to the documents filed, Mrs. Rodriguez accuses the Yankees third baseman of "Extramarital affairs and other marital misconduct." and of "Emotionally abandond(ing) his wife and children."

Alex Rodriguez has hired a Miami attorney to represent him in the divorce, the same lawyer representing Shaquille O'Neal in his divorce. Our repeated calls to that attorney and Alex Rodriguez's agent and manager have not been returned.

The couple has had a prenuptial agreement in place since October 2002, long before he signed his record-setting $275 million, 10-year contract with the New York Yankees.

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