San Antonio Spurs star Tim Duncan's marriage is officially over.
In an unusual and secret hearing Tuesday that didn't even occur at the Bexar County Courthouse, state District Judge David A. Canales granted the divorce between Duncan and his college sweetheart, Amy.
The judge later told the San Antonio Express-News that he held the hearing during his lunch hour at the offices of Tim Duncan's lawyer, Sue Hall, at her request. The couple and their lawyers were present.
Several court observers saw the special request as unusual given that so-called “home” visits by judges are not normally afforded to the general public.
“I would say it's highly unusual, but I think it would be highly disruptive for them to come to court,” said attorney Jean Brown, who practices family law.
Canales said it wasn't out of the ordinary for a judge to hold an on-the-record hearing off-site, though it was the first time he has been asked to do it.
Notice of the hearing appeared nowhere on any public docket. Canales said that when a judge gets an agreement in a divorce case, it is not necessary to give public notice of a hearing.
He added that the parties felt uncomfortable coming to court because of the possible “paparazzi” factor — people taking pictures of them or asking for autographs.
“I don't see it as doing a special favor for the sake of a favor,” Canales said. “These folks were involved in a very private matter. It was mainly for privacy.”
Details of the divorce, such as the division of assets and which parent gets custody of their two children, were not immediately released.
Rosemary Broll, a secretary for Duncan's lead lawyer, Hall, said Hall would not take a reporter's call in this situation.
“She cannot comment on specific cases,” Broll said.
Messages seeking comment were left with two lawyers listed for Amy Duncan, Chris Negem and Richard Orsinger.
Amy Duncan initiated the divorce proceedings March 27. Tim Duncan responded with a counterpetition.
The filings, which used only their initials, were first reported in the Express-News as part of a series examining the increasing number of cases in which parties are identified only by initials, and how the process toes the line of legal bounds.
The Duncans were college sweethearts at Wake Forest University, where Tim starred on the Deacons basketball team and Amy was a cheerleader. Tim graduated in 1997 and was the first overall pick in the NBA draft, made by the Spurs.
The couple married July 21, 2001, and have a daughter and a son, records show.
Little explanation is given for the breakup.
“The marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities between petitioner and respondent that destroys the legitimate ends of the marriage relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation,” both of their divorce petitions said.
In filings on Tim Duncan's behalf, his lawyers even went as far as seeking information on a San Antonio personal trainer, Gilbert R. Urbano Jr. and used private investigator Robert Pizzurro for that purpose, records show. Attempts to reach Pizzurro were unsuccessful Tuesday.
One document shows Tim Duncan's lawyers even were trying to get their hands on a recording from the trainer's appearance on “Judge Judy” from 2010.
Urbano told the Express-News he was “unfamiliar” with why his name appeared repeatedly in the Duncan's divorce proceedings, including why one document asks a judge for an order barring Urbano from being “around the children at any time or at any place, including permitting him to be in the same house or work establishment or school or social function as the children, whether the children are asleep or awake.”
Tim Duncan's lawyers also filed a subpoena requesting that Urbano appear for a hearing that had been scheduled for this Friday but now is going to be postponed. Urbano denied being served with a subpoena and would not comment directly on his relationship to the Duncans.
“I guess I'll find out about it from the courts and not the newspaper,” he said, and hung up on a reporter.