NEWS

Gatti tore up prenup for show: secretary

09/15/2011 07:11 EDT | Updated 01/12/2012 02:08 EST

Not long after he was married, Arturo Gatti tore up the prenuptial agreement that would have left his new wife nothing if they divorced.

However, according to a legal secretary testifying at the civil trial over the late boxer's will, that display appeared to be a show for the benefit of his wife, Amanda Rodrigues.

Kathryn Appello, the secretary who typed up the pre-nuptial agreement, told a Montreal courtroom Thursday that the couple showed up a few months after their marriage.

Gatti asked for the agreement, which they signed days before their 2007 wedding in Las Vegas, and Appello made him a copy.

She testified Gatti winked and smiled at her when he took the document and tore it up in front of his wife.

The former boxer called the office a week later to confirm the papers he tore up were copies, not the original prenup, she said.

Appello's testimony came more than a week after the dramatic court battle over Gatti's will began.

The former boxer was found dead at a Brazilian resort of an apparent suicide in 2009. Rodrigues was initially arrested by Brazilian authorities, but later released.

Gatti signed over his entire estate, now estimated to be worth around $3.5 million, to his wife a few weeks before his death.

His family, which has never accepted that his death was a suicide, contests that he was pressured into signing that agreement and a previous will should be executed.

On Thursday, court heard that just before Gatti and Rodrigues got engaged, he had a will drafted that left everything to his mother and his daughter Sofia.

Wife faces cross-examination

Rodrigues faced an intense cross-examination Thursday on her second day on the stand.

Asked by Gatti family lawyer Carmine Mercadante if she was prone to anger and aggression, Rodrigues replied that she didn't think she was worse than anyone else.

She said she fought with her husband about once a week --something she considered normal for married couples -- but that she was calm and patient when she was first married.

But she said she grew tired of having the same arguments over his drinking and had lost patience over the spring of 2009 in what she described as "the hardest time of my marriage."

"I'm not proud of it, I'm embarrassed to say that. I'm embarrassed how I lost my temper," Rodrigues said, adding that she felt bad that her infant son Arturo Jr. was witness to the arguing.

"Junior saw a lot of things I'm not proud of."

Rodrigues returns to the stand on Friday.

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