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Mrs. Moon Says Big Money And Big Spending Started Strain On Marriage

February 19, 1996

RICHMOND, Texas (AP) _ Felicia Moon said Monday her football player husband, Warren Moon, hasn’t hit her since an incident a decade ago that prompted her to file a short-lived divorce petition.

Mrs. Moon, in the second day of testimony at her husband’s spouse abuse trial, again blamed herself for circumstances that eventually led to misdemeanor assault charges filed last summer against the Minnesota Vikings quarterback.

Under questioning by Rusty Hardin, Moon’s attorney, Mrs. Moon bristled at reports characterizing the couple’s July 18 dispute as wife beating.

``It’s ridiculous to refer to it as that,″ she said of the fight that left her bruised and scratched.

Moon could face up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine if convicted of the charge.

Mrs. Moon said the couple’s marriage was floundering at the time of the incident, triggered by Moon’s insistence that she surrender credit cards, and that Moon had not been living at their Missouri City home.

Mrs. Moon chronicled how she met Moon while in high school in Los Angeles, his football playing at the University of Washington, their move to Edmonton, Alberta, where he played in the Canadian Football League and his signing in 1984 with the Houston Oilers.

The Houston deal made Moon the highest-paid player in the National Football League and made the couple instantly wealthy.

Mrs. Moon said their marriage then began to sour because she chose to raise their three young children in their new Houston-area home while her husband was gone all the time. To combat depression, she went to shopping malls, ringing up $160,000 in credit card expenses and bank withdrawals and angering her husband.

``I spent a lot of money,″ she said. ``My free time would be basically days at the mall.

``It would be $5,000 here, $2,500 there. We had so much money in the bank I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal.″

When Moon audited their accounts and found the expenditures, he wanted her credit cards.

Their financial disputes led to three instances of violence, including one in which she said she attacked him with a mop and they wound up on the floor, punching and fighting.

``If you could just picture two animals,″ she said. ``What stopped the event for both of us, we had realized ... my two babies were standing there watching us fighting. They were looking at us in shock. They couldn’t believe mommy and daddy had done that.″

Her divorce petition filed soon after that was dismissed in 1987 and Moon never was served with the suit.

``In my heart of hearts, I didn’t want a divorce,″ she said.

Mrs. Moon insisted all the violence was started by her, often by tossing something at her husband.

``Like a cabinet,″ she said. ``I once shattered a glass cabinet. It would be the result of something I had done to get his attention.

``He’s just not the kind of person to get excited about something. It aggravates me.″

Mrs. Moon testified Friday that her husband is taking the blame for last summer’s fight in order to prevent her ``dark secrets″ from being spilled into public.

Although she admitted Moon grabbed and choked her during a bedroom fight over credit cards and money, she has insisted he never meant to hurt her. She suggested that her acrylic fingernails may have been responsible for scratches around her neck and shoulder area.

Mrs. Moon has pleaded with prosecutors to drop the assault charges against her husband.

Police went to the Moons’ home in Missouri City, a suburb southwest of Houston, after their 7-year-old son, Jeffrey, told a 911 operator his father was going to beat his mother.

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