The on-again, off-again relationship between former Wizards star Gilbert Arenas and his girlfriend Laura Govan looks like it’s off for good — and a document obtained by the Reliable Source offers a window into their life together and what could be a stupendously expensive court battle.
In confidential notes, Govan — who is expecting her fourth child with Arenas — describes fights where he repeatedly threw her out of the house, his profligate spending (including a shark tank/pool/grotto complex said to cost $1 million), lavish vacations and spending sprees at toy stores.
And yet they never had a nanny, Govan complains, according to the notes: “he would state ‘you had them you watch them.’ ”
Their nine years together came to an end in November, shortly before Arenas was traded to the Orlando Magic and moved to Florida; Govan last month claimed through a rep that he had abandoned her and the kids, cutting off all communications and support.
That might have been the end of the public drama. But then Govan contacted Trope and Trope, a high-profile family law firm in Los Angeles, and met with an attorney from the firm. Somehow, nine pages of typewritten notes from their meeting ended up in the midst of a court filing in another, unrelated case handled by the firm. All the pages were filed in a public docket in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Trope and Trope did not return calls for comment. According to a court order allowing the firm to remove the notes from public record because they contained “confidential attorney-client privileged communications,” the firm “inadvertently copied and submitted” them due to a “clerical error.”
A representative for Govan said she declined to comment on the public disclosure of the document or their contents.
Laura Govan with two of her and Gilbert Arenas’s three young children: Izela and Alijah. (Avid Exposure Public Relations)But the notes — which appear to be her version of their life together — reveal lots of details about their relationship. Arenas, 29, and Govan, 31, first met in 2002, when she was coaching basketball at a Golden State Warriors camp. In addition to their three young children (the fourth is due in June), they went through other pregnancies that ended in miscarriages. Along the way, there were lots of break-ups and make-ups.
Some of the meeting notes confirm what Arenas himself shared on his popular, now-defunct blog: “I’ve done kicked her out of my house almost every weekend, yet she’s still here and she still believes in me,” he wrote in 2008 in a post describing his marriage proposal to her. The notes tell an almost identical story: “The reason he proposed to her is that he put her out of the house every other weekend since they met and she stays with him, so something must be working.”
There’s a lot about how Arenas spent his money, based on her understanding of the household finances: “he states he makes 1.5 million per month,” read the notes. Arenas lavished plenty on their Great Falls home, dropping $100,000 on landscaping, $5,000 a month for housekeepers, $675 “per car” washing, and $1 million for his backyard pool and grotto. His sharks are expensive: $5,000 a month to feed them and $1,500 for a keeper to drive from Columbus to take care of them.
He was extravagant when it came to toys for the children — ages 5, 4 and 2 — buying a $60,000 train set and an $8,000 toy Mercedes-Benz electric car, and dropping between $30,000 and $40,000 during a shopping spree at FAO Schwartz. (Arenas also told this story on the blog, but didn’t divulge the amount of money spent.)
The notes say Arenas gave Govan $8,000 a month for expenses; more than half went to pay the mortgage on a home she owns in California, and the rest went for groceries ($500-$600 a week from Peapod), doctors, classes and other expenses for the children.
Arenas’s business manager, Los Angeles-based CPA to the stars Lester Knispel, is mentioned twice. Contacted by the Post, Knispel’s office declined to discuss his client’s expenditures and referred calls to Arenas’s manager.
The end — and it appears this time it’s for real — came on the day before Thanksgiving, when she threw him out of the house, according to the notes. Govan and the children left Great Falls less than two weeks ago and are now in California.
All signs point to a messy split.
David Cornwell, an attorney for Arenas, said in a statement that the notes contain “numerous inaccuracies and inflammatory statements by a disgruntled and vindictive woman.” He declined to address any specific inaccuracies in the document, saying, “we will not dignify it by responding to Laura Govan’s false and fanciful assertions. Rest assured, however, that Gilbert Arenas remains committed to providing his children with boundless love and support.”