PANAMA CITY (AP) – Just weeks after being first unanimously selected by the Baseball Hall of Fame, Mariano Rivera defends accusations in his native Panama that he does not want to be a fan. could not support two children out of wedlock.
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"I've always acted … like a good family man," the 49-year-old told local media.
Rivera's comments were made while he was invited to appear before the Panamanian judicial authorities to respond to accusations that he had not fulfilled his obligations to assist boys and girls, aged 11 and 15 years old.
"He came to clean up his image in front of the media, instead of warning the authorities and dealing with the process," said Yovany Wyznick Ortega, a lawyer for the children's mother.
Sending to the Associated Press, Ortega claimed that Rivera and the children had "always shared" but that the former player had stopped seeing them and had "abandoned" them two years ago. .
"He stopped paying for his children and put them in a critical economic situation," she said.
The lawyer said Rivera would face five lawsuits filed several months ago. She said that if he did not appear before the judicial authorities, she would ask him to prevent him from leaving the country.
Little was known about the charges against him until February 11, when information that a hearing convened by Rivera's lawyers would not have occurred began to appear in local media. .
Rivera lives in New York but was back in Panama on Tuesday. He gave an unexpected radio interview, then appeared in front of the local media with his lawyers and presented a brief written statement.
"It is true that the courts face unfounded claims that affect my children that I love with all my heart," the statement said.
Rivera is married and has three children of the marriage.
At the end of January, the Panamanians celebrated the moment when Rivera became the first unanimous selection in the Baseball Hall of Fame and only the second Panamanian was selected. The other is Rod Carew.
Rivera is the leader who saves his career with 652 goals in the regular season, and 42 more in playoffs.
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