View Full Version : New SacBee Article on Doug Christie's marriage

11-10-2003, 02:38 PM
Just thought I'd post this article on Doug Christie & wife. Some new info, some rehashed. Still seems bizarre to me.

Truly committed
Doug and Jackie Christie are firm believers in that crazy little thing called love. And they go to serious lengths to prove it.
By Joe Davidson -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 a.m. PST Sunday, November 9, 2003

The mother of two teenage sons eyed Jackie Christie, nodded and sighed.
The wife of Kings guard Doug Christie was at a late summer basketball camp in Sacramento. Where Christie went, his partner was close behind, like Velcro, hooked to the hip.

Dribbling drills, free-throw technique, guarding your man -- it didn't matter. Jackie Christie was mere feet away, all smiles and approving charm. When Doug Christie handed out prizes to participants, he got them from his wife. When he signed autographs at a table to conclude the camp, she pushed the photos his way.
"Why doesn't she just leave the poor man alone?" the woman said in a huff.

But that's just it. The man doesn't want to be left alone.

Christie says his marriage is unique -- special -- and he and his wife don't much care what anyone else has to say about it.

Some might suggest their relationship is unique, all right. Weird. Unorthodox, even.

At least that's what is said in a lawsuit filed against the Christies, the Kings, owners Joe and Gavin Maloof and others by former Kings manager of media relations Stephanie Shepard, who was fired Oct. 7, 2002. Among the charges in the suit are sexual harassment, and the Christies are in the center of that.

"Doug Christie is notorious for refusing even basic contact with all women, except with his wife, Jackie," said the lawsuit, filed May 27 in Sacramento Superior Court. "Jackie Christie is likewise notorious for policing her husband's contacts with women."

Among the other complaints in the lawsuit are unlawful retaliation and gender discrimination. Shepard seeks monetary damages from the Kings, the Maloofs and the Christies.

The suit claims the Christies have "unorthodox views concerning marriage," and it's those views that have made the Christies a target for fans across the league and talk-radio hosts who skewer and lambaste them for not fitting the sports mold.

Jackie Christie cringes at the idea of her husband dealing with women in any manner. The Christies exchange hand signals during games. Jackie Christie literally had her husband's back when she nearly jumped on Rick Fox's during Christie's now-famous fracas with the Los Angeles Lakers forward just over a year ago. And the Christies plan a countersuit against Shepard, who the Christies felt was getting too close for comfort.

So, is Christie under his wife's thumb? Absolutely.

Christie has said as much, "If you could feel as good as I feel to be whipped, you'd be whipped, too."

Christie said his relationship "doesn't sell" in the public mainstream. They're not Hollywood, he said, nor do they want to be. And the Christies aren't likely to be on "Temptation Island," either, not with their pact of being absolutely true to each other, to the point that the only women Christie might lay eyes on longer than a moment outside of his family would be a drive-through attendant handing him a bag of fries.

Christie said he has no reason to look at other women, in hardly any fashion, and his wife is plenty pleased to hear that. He said that it's not about taking orders from his wife, it's "about respect." He said he is zoned in on two things: family and basketball.

The Christies have gone to great lengths to keep their marriage pure. Christie might be the only NBA player who regularly wears his wedding ring in practices and games, covering it thickly with tape so as not to scratch an opponent. He parts with it under no circumstances. And the Christies may be the only couple in America who renew their wedding vows every year in full regalia, with a ceremony and cake. They've done it for nine consecutive summers, the latest with hard hats on the foundation of their 11,000-square-foot house still under construction near their native Seattle.

And then there's the most visible demonstration of togetherness: Where Doug goes, Jackie goes.

If there's a Read to Achieve function through the NBA at a local school, she's seated next to him, in matching "Cat in the Hat" lids.

Jackie Christie is the only wife of a Kings player -- and perhaps the only one in the league -- who regularly travels with the team via the team charter. She doesn't sit with the other players. She sits with her husband, in their private solitude, where they read, plot new points for a book they are planning on how others can strengthen their relationships or pore over the designs for a just-launched clothing line that bears her name.

They exchange notes before games. They have matching tattoos that read: "Infinite love." On road trips, Christie makes a bee line to his wife after competition. They embrace and wander off, hands clasped. Sometimes they dine with Kings teammates on the road. Mostly, they hole up in the hotel, order room service and watch movies.

Jackie Christie admits she has her fears about the NBA road lifestyle. She said she trusts her husband, just not other women. She understands that every year harassment and paternity suits are filed after liaisons with NBA players. And this year, the Kobe Bryant sexual assault case hovers over one of the league's superstars who had tried to cultivate a squeaky clean image.

Jackie Christie has seen the women often hover around the hotel lobbies. She knows athletes can be awfully weak to seduction.

She heard the words uttered last summer by Tami Anderson, who was once married to NBA guard Kenny Anderson, "I don't think there's a single faithful man in the NBA. And if he is out there, then his wife has a very short leash on him."

Still, Christie doesn't consider his commitment to his wife a leash, because he never strains to break free.

And apparently, his teammates don't see it as a choke collar, either.

Kings forward Chris Webber went so far as to say that the man with the most complete life and the one nobody worries about is Christie. In fact, Christie is one of just three married active Kings players -- Vlade Divac and Darius Songaila are the others.

"Everyone," Webber said, "looks up to Doug.

"I value their relationship so much. I appreciate their family structure. People should respect that, not trash it. (The Christies) should be applauded. I just know that Doug is the only person I go to on this team for personal advice and personal issues, because he is so mature, and he does have great character."

Reserve guard Anthony Peeler said that while he and Christie are the same age, 33, he looks to Christie as a role model.

"He's rubbing off on me," Peeler said. "I told my fiancée that he calls his wife every day, and she said she wants me to call her every day. I'd love to have that kind of relationship with my fiancée."

And though Christie's opponents might whisper that they think the relationship is strange, that he may be too good, they won't say so on the record.

About the harshest any rival player would offer about the Christies was a raised eyebrow or an "It's different."

Christie is doggedly determined during games, all long arms, quickness and instincts in pursuit of errant passes and open jump shots. He is inherently shy otherwise, introverted, well-spoken, well-read. His wife is more sociable, though plenty ferocious when challenged. As Christie puts it, "Jackie isn't a woman to be messed with."

When Christie played for the Toronto Raptors, Jackie Christie intercepted a young female fan who sought an autograph and kiss from her husband, saying later, "She was touching someone she shouldn't have been."

Jackie Christie also has concerns with female employees of any NBA franchise -- and sometimes female reporters -- talking to her husband while he is dressing in the locker room without her present. Or any other time, as well.

In Shepard's lawsuit, she alleges she was barred from such contact with Christie as delivering phone messages to him at practice. The lawsuit claims Jackie Christie's discomfort with that interaction as one of the reasons for her dismissal.

Bradley Marshall, Christie's agent and lawyer for the couple, said Friday from his Seattle office that his clients will file a defamation countersuit within the week. He insisted that this issue "will not settle out of court."

"My guy has been getting pounded for a whole year on this," Marshall said of public perception and the Shepard suit. "I think Ms. Shepard sensed vulnerability here and rather than respect the Christies as a couple, she piled on. ... "

Neither Shepard nor her Pasadena-based lawyers could be reached for comment. Nobody from within the Kings organization would comment on the case, citing advice from attorneys.

Through it all, Jackie Christie offers no apologies for who she is and what she is about. She once admitted that she has a jealous bone in her body as long as her 6-foot-frame. She said she protects what is hers, though she insists that there is one boss in her family.

"It's Doug," she said at a recent game. "Doug wears the pants in this family, for real. I have 100 percent respect and trust in him. If he didn't want me with him, he'd tell me. As for going on the road ... if I didn't go with him, then people would doubt my love for him. I love him to death, and he loves me, and that's all we care about."

Christie said he'd prefer to keep his relationship more private, but that's not easy because he is an NBA player, a celebrity, and in every game he plays, he acknowledges his wife with those hand signals that represent "I love you" as many as 60 times in a 2 1/2-hour game.

The Christies were comedic fodder about 60 times during a three-hour block for the nationally syndicated Don & Mike Show that aired on the Kings flagship station KHTK (1140) before the Kings home opener Oct. 29. The hosts dared the Christies to defend themselves and dared listeners to explain their relationship.

Fans from across the country -- including Sacramento -- had their say. One was certain Jackie Christie demanded her husband shave his head to look more menacing (Jackie Christie laughs at this, saying she hated to see the hair go, that it was purely his decision).

One fan said the Christies' lifestyle would keep the Kings from being soured by an incident in the way the Lakers are around Bryant.

Even Fox, the Lakers forward who is married to actress/singer Vanessa Williams, acknowledged that the Christies have a relationship to appreciate, telling the New York Times, "I admire any NBA couple that takes steps to make their relationship work, because there are a lot of people out there who want to disrupt what we have. This is not the healthiest environment for a marriage. You've got to have a lot of trust to be married to any professional athlete."

Christie said he led a more carefree lifestyle once, something he said he wouldn't teach his children now. Then he met Jackie, some 13 years ago.

She knew of Christie, having grown up not too far from him in Seattle. She remembered him as the skinny, smiling kid playing video games at his mother's convenience store.

She was leery about dating an athlete, with all the stories of promiscuity. But she said Christie was different. And she said he remains different.

Christie credits his wife for making his life complete, comfortable, ideal, and that he has played his best ball in recent seasons as a result.

The Christies have three children: 14-year old Ta'kari, 10-year-old Chantel and 2-year-old Douglas Jr. Jackie's mother, Cora, lives with them and tends to the brood when the Christies hit the road.

Jackie Christie does not attend practice to feed Doug outlet passes, nor does she go to every road game. She did not fly with the team to Minnesota on Wednesday, though she watched from home as the Kings prevailed in overtime.

Christie still offered the hand signals and a few choice words that he normally doesn't.

In the final frenetic moments of regulation, Christie pleaded for his teammates to "get the (expletive) ball into Vlade!"

A woman seated near the Kings bench noted, "I can't believe his wife would let him talk like that!"

Christie's contract expires at the end of the 2005-06 season. He has said that he will retire and devote all of his time to his family. But the person who knows him best isn't so sure.

"I think he'll keep playing, because he loves it so much," Jackie Christie said.

The next career involves Jackie's clothing line. Doug Christie, an accomplished artist who draws a lot of cartoon characters, already helps design a lot of the leather handbags. And, no, there isn't a Rick Fox flogger bag with a brick in it.

So here's Christie, unrelenting in high tops and designing women's apparel?

"Hey, this guy is no wimp," said Marshall, the Christies' lawyer. "Did you see how he dealt with Rick Fox? He's a man's man. People don't understand how he can be a gentleman to his wife and not be a wimp. He's very comfortable and happy with who he is. NBA players are under so much scrutiny, and if a married couple doesn't bind together, they won't make it."

Link (http://www.sacbee.com/content/sports/story/7755549p-8694765c.html)

11-10-2003, 02:57 PM
Christie said he'd prefer to keep his relationship more private, but that's not easy because he is an NBA player, a celebrity, and in every game he plays, he acknowledges his wife with those hand signals that represent "I love you" as many as 60 times in a 2 1/2-hour game

Very weird

11-10-2003, 03:17 PM
Great post thebac.........i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif.......it reminds me of that song by Queen titled "Crazy Little Thing Called Love"..........i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif

11-10-2003, 03:46 PM
I could have gone the rest of my life without seeing another article published about these two.

11-10-2003, 03:54 PM
I wonder if they have a urinal in their house.........

11-10-2003, 04:05 PM
That type of commitment is either admirable for their dedication or certifiable for their devotion. It seems dysfuntional, but then again the NBA has never been a place to model your relationships over.

11-11-2003, 12:34 AM
anyone know what christie's wife looks like. just curious i/expressions/face-icon-small-tongue.gif

11-11-2003, 01:54 AM
Originally posted by: MavKikiNYC
I wonder if they have a urinal in their house.........

If they do I am fairly sure it is never used.

11-11-2003, 05:20 AM
Originally posted by: bogey

Originally posted by: MavKikiNYC
I wonder if they have a urinal in their house.........

If they do I am fairly sure it is never used.

At least by Doug.

Usually Lurkin
11-11-2003, 07:46 AM
Originally posted by: MavKikiNYC
I wonder if they have a urinal in their house.........

or two