Tennis Umpire Once Accused of Killing Husband With a Coffee Cup Sues LAPD For False Arrest
Lois Goodman, the professional tennis umpire once accused of fatally bludgeoning her husband with a coffee mug in the couple's valley condo, is suing the Los Angeles Police Department.
The septuagenarian has "filed a complaint against police and the coroner's office, claiming false arrest and civil rights violations," according to ABC7.
Goodman was not arrested at the time of her husband Alan's death, but rather following an investigation, during which time authorities revised their initial finding that Mr. Goodman fell down the stairs to his death to naming Mrs. Goodman as his suspected killer. A coroner's examination revealed that Alan Goodman's body had deep gashes around his head and ears, and there were shards of pottery at the wound sites. The alleged weapon: A coffee mug.
Mrs. Goodman was arrested in New York City, when she was there to officiate a U.S. Open tennis match, and brought back to Los Angeles to face charges of murder.
In November, charges against Lois Goodman were dropped.
The complaint indicates that things have been hard for Goodman since the arrest and accusation, notes the Courthouse News Service: "To this day, Mrs. Goodman suffers on a daily basis. The public humiliation is unending. There are whispers and pointed fingers wherever she goes - whether it be to a delicatessen, the Topanga mall or a tennis match."
Goodman maintains her innocence, and in the complaint revisits details of her husband's life and death, noting Mr. Goodman "was legally blind and had colon cancer...had a long history of high blood pressure, heart disease, depression and insulin-dependent diabetes [and] a history of failing to take his medication," reports City News Service.
Robert Sheahan, Goodman's attorney, says his client's ordeal included the trauma of finding her spouse dead, and having the grieving period curtailed by being arrested, and thrown in a jail he describes as "a veritable dungeon." Sheahan adds: "It was all so unnecessary, so punishing, so humiliating."
The LAPD noted in their report that perhaps Mrs. Goodman was not as visibly devastated as one might expect, remarking that her "makeup was not running," when they spoke with her at the scene. The District Attorney alleged Goodman was in good enough spirits to go get her nails done as her husband was left to die at home.
A few days after his death authorities with the coroner noticed that his body had deep gashes around his head and ears with shards of pottery
In the lawsuit, Goodman is seeking unspecified damages.
Through her work as a tennis ref, Goodman has been on the receiving end of some nasty looks from the crowd, and, in 1994, she told the L.A. Times about how she coped with the disdain: "You just can't let anything bother you," Goodman said. "And you can't take anything personally. If you do, you're in big trouble."
The LAPD have not commented on the lawsuit.