Join Date: Dec 2008
Terrell Owens In GQ: I'm In Hell
Terrell Owens has always been an island of sorts. His brash personality and self-absorption routinely alienated his teammates during an NFL career that teetered between terrific and toxic, leaving him to fend for himself.
Now, at 38 and out of football, he's lonelier than ever, and running out of money. In a GQ profile, Owens comes across as wounded, broke and desperate. When people text him to ask where he is, he replies back: "I'm in hell."
But is it his own fault? That's the perennial debate on T.O., who had a heartbreaking childhood but continually pointed fingers at everyone but himself once he became an adult.
In the GQ story by Nancy Hass, Owens blames the media for not giving him a chance to rehab his injury, blames agent Drew Rosenhaus for not protecting him from a bad business arrangement, and -- perhaps most surprisingly -- blames a former team captain for his issues with former Philadelphia teammate Donovan McNabb.
Owens earned around $80 million during his NFL career, but has found himself in deep financial trouble, despite never spending lavishly. In the February edition of GQ, Owens admits to trusting the wrong people, who in turn cost him a lot of his fortune."It's not a matter of having lived too large -- he was never the type to stockpile Ferraris or build himself a compound; the flashiest car he ever drove was a Mercedes, and while he indeed racked up a few homes that cost as much as $4 million, the only crib he classifies as even mildly sick by pro-ball standards was the one he bought in Atlanta to live in during the Philly off-season.
The problem, he says, is that he's by nature too trusting, loyal to a fault, despite everyone's carping that he's selfish. It's the sad old stereotypical song of the up-from-nothing black athlete: He let other people take care of things."
Owens said financial advisers recommended by Rosenhaus lost much of his money in highly leveraged ventures, then houses and apartments he thought he could rent out in a worst case scenario became dead weight in a housing market collapse (none of the properties is particularly excessive, but total a yearly mortgage of about $750,000), and $2 million was lost in an Alabama entertainment complex investment. That venture turned out to be illegal, and also claimed former Redskins running back Clinton Portis as a victim.
"I hate myself for letting this happen," Owens told GQ. "I believed that they had my back when they said, 'You take care of the football, and we'll do the rest.' And in the end, they just basically stole from me."
Owens has also found himself friendless, thanks to a growing sense of distrust thanks to his many unfortunate dealings.He never had many friends -- teammates never called him to party, he says, wrongly assuming that he was "too big" to socialize -- and now, "I don't have no friends. I don't want no friends. That's how I feel."
And on top of that, he's battling in court with four women to whom he pays a total of $44,600 a month in child support for his four children, ages 5 to 12.
"If there's anything I'm sorry about, it's getting involved with all that." He never actually dated any of the women, he says. One was a one-night stand, the others "repeat offenders." Owens, who has never been married, concedes he is "not a very good judge of character." Still, he "never suspected they were the types to do what they done in the past year."