Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Suspended driver sued by stepmother
By David Newton
STATESVILLE, N.C. -- Lisa Mayfield is seeking damages against her stepson, suspended Sprint Cup driver Jeremy Mayfield, for public comments he made in regard to his civil case against NASCAR, according to court documents.
Lisa Mayfield is seeking compensatory damages in excess of $10,000, punitive damages in excess of $10,000 and any other "relief as the court may deem just and proper" in a civil suit claiming slanderous, false and defamatory statements.
The complaint was filed Wednesday in the Iredell County Civil court in Statesville.
Court documents refer to statements that Jeremy Mayfield made to ESPN.com and WSOC-TV in Charlotte, which came after NASCAR filed court documents that included an affidavit from Lisa Mayfield in which she said she had witnessed her stepson taking methamphetamine at least 30 times since 1998.
The testimony was part of NASCAR's argument that the temporary injunction lifting his indefinite suspension for violating the sport's substance-abuse policy should be overturned.
The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has since ordered that Mayfield's suspension be reinstated.
Lisa Mayfield's testimony also included accusations that Jeremy Mayfield was involved in the production of methamphetamine.
Jeremy Mayfield, responding during a phone interview with ESPN.com, said: "She's basically a whore. She shot and killed my dad."
He also accused his stepmother of accepting money from NASCAR in exchange for her testimony.
"It wouldn't take much money," he said at the time. "She tried to get money from me."
Jeremy repeated the accusations on a Sirius radio talk show that same day, and then a few days later made them again to WSOC.
Mayfield has since told ESPN.com that he has an attorney working on a wrongful death suit against his stepmother in the death of his father, and said he plans to file by Aug. 15 or earlier.
According to autopsy and police reports, the cause of death of Mayfield's father was suicide, and there were no signs of wrongdoing. The report included testimony from Lisa, who said her husband had been depressed for some time over the relationship with his son.
" ... Just came from Salisbury today with some stuff that I had an investigator on her for a while, she knows it, she's been running and basically either her, or conspired on killing my dad, shot my dad in the heart," Mayfield told WSOC, according to his stepmother's complaint.
Lisa Mayfield's complaint states that Jeremy Mayfield knew his legal case was heavily covered by the media and "knew or reasonably should have known that statements as set forth ... would be widely disseminated in the media."
The complaint added that the statements made by Jeremy Mayfield regarding his stepmom "were false and defamatory."
He was suspended by NASCAR on May 9 after a random drug test came up positive for methamphetamine. He has argued that the test was the result of combining Claritin-D for allergies with the prescription drug Adderall for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Officials who run NASCAR's drug-testing procedure have ruled that out as a possibility. Mayfield has since tested positive again for methamphetamine, the results of which were made public on the day Mayfield made his comments about his stepmother.
David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.