(LOS ANGELES) — The tennis referee who was accused of beating her husband to death with a coffee mug one year ago is suing the Los Angeles Police Department for false arrest, infliction of emotional distress and malicious prosecution, according to a complaint.
Lois Goodman, 70, of Woodland Hills, Calif., filed a lawsuit against the LAPD, several of its employees, the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner and a deputy medical examiner at the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on Wednesday.
According to the suit, Goodman said she continues to suffer “public humiliation” after she was falsely arrested and accused of bludgeoning her 80-year-old husband to death with a coffee cup back in April 2012.
Goodman was arrested in August, days before the U.S. Open began, while wearing her referee uniform. Police alleged she clubbed her husband to death with a coffee mug in their Los Angeles home, and then stabbed him with the broken pieces.
Goodman was taken into custody at Rikers Island in New York before she was transferred to the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood, Calif., where she spent two weeks until she was released on bail, the complaint said. She was then placed on house arrest for more than three months and forced to wear an electronic monitoring device.
Prosecutors dismissed the case against Goodman in November after she passed a polygraph test to show she did not kill her husband and after police revealed her DNA was not found on the alleged murder weapon, according to the lawsuit. She maintains her husband died from an accidental fall.
Yet Goodman has filed suit because “she’d like her reputation restored,” her attorney, Robert Sheahen told ABC News’ Good Morning America.
“We’re suing for justice,” he said. “We want to make it absolutely clear this lady is innocent. She was innocent a year ago, she is innocent today, and what the LAPD did to her was simply wrong.”
Even though the United States Tennis Association gave Goodman her job back, she says both her career and her reputation remain tarnished.
“There are whispers and pointed fingers wherever she goes — whether it be to a delicatessen, the Topanga mall or a tennis match,” the complaint said. “Her professional reputation has suffered immeasurably.”
Goodman is seeking damages and attorney’s fees. But win or lose, she’ll be at the U.S. Open later this month calling the shots, Sheahen said.
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