Olympic gold medalist Tianna Madison has been hit with a libel, slander and defamation lawsuit by her parents Jo Ann and Robert Madison, the Chronicle-Telegram reports. The Madisons claim their daughter defamed them with allegations that they mismanaged her finances and that they allowed a boy who had molested her in the past to enter their home while she was there. The lawsuit was filed Thursday morning in Ohio’s Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.
The complaint also names Madison’s husband John Bartoletta as a defendant. It says the couple has repeatedly published false and defamatory statements about the Olympian’s parents since March. The Madisons say they have been supportive, generous and loving parents to their daughter, and they flew to London to watch her compete in the Olympic 4×100 relay.
Jo Ann Madison said she and her husband have spent around $100,000 supporting their daughter, and said they needed some support as well. The Madisons are seeking more than $25,000 each in punitive and compensatory damages.
Tianna Madison, along with Allyson Felix, Bianca Knight and Carmelita Jeter, broke the world record for the 4×100 sprint last month. They completed the relay in just 40.82 seconds; they beat the previous record set by East Germany in 1985 by more than a half second.
The 27-year-old Elyria, Ohio native has yet to respond to her parents’ lawsuit, but in an interview with CNN Friday, she did open up about some of her life challenges, including being molested as a teenager. Madison said:
“I had to deal with being molested in high school and what that did to my self-esteem and my ability to trust. I overcame this with the love and support of my husband.”
What do you think of the lawsuit against Tianna Madison?