Substance Abuse Problems
In January 1987, just a few months after Strawberry's World Series appearance with the Mets, his wife, Lisa Andrews Strawberry, filed for legal separation. The couple had been married in January 1985, but in an October 1986 incident, Lisa Strawberry claimed that her husband had broken her nose. The couple reconciled, but Lisa Strawberry filed for divorce in May 1989, a few weeks after her husband was named in a paternity suit filed by Lisa Clayton. Blood tests eventually verified Clayton's claim that Strawberry had fathered their child. Strawberry also had two children by his wife: Darryl, Jr. and Diamond Nicole. In January 1990 Strawberry was arrested again for hitting his wife and threatening her with a handgun. After Strawberry agreed to enter a rehabilitation center to deal with his substance-abuse problems, the charges were dropped. The Strawberrys eventually separated and were divorced in 1993.
Although Strawberry publicly blamed his erratic behavior on his alcohol consumption, he had also been abusing amphetamines and cocaine. His addictions began during his second season with the Mets and continued after he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1991. In 1992 a serious back injury that required surgery limited Strawberry to just forty-three games with the Dodgers. His recovery also sent him back into drug dependency. In 1993 he played thirty-two games and his batting average dropped to .140. In September 1993 he was back in court after he was arrested for domestic abuse against his girlfriend, Charisse Simons. Simons dropped the charges and married Strawberry on December 3. The couple subsequently had three children.
After failing to show up for a Dodgers game in April 1994, Strawberry entered the Betty Ford Center for a twenty-eight day drug dependency treatment. Released from his contract by the Dodgers, Strawberry signed with the San Francisco Giants. He played just twentynine games for the team before being released after testing positive for cocaine use in February 1995; he also received a sixty-day suspension from baseball. Strawberry also faced an indictment for tax evasion; according to the IRS, Strawberry had failed to declare over $300,000 in earnings from selling memorabilia with his autograph. Despite his plea of not guilty, Strawberry was ordered in April 1995 to pay $350,000 in back taxes.
- Darryl Strawberry - Signed With New York Yankees
- Darryl Strawberry - Chronology
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