Trust issues cloud Sanders' custody trial

March 5, 2013 at 5:15 PM

MCKINNEY, Texas, March 5 (UPI) -- A trial to settle Deion Sanders and wife Pilar's child custody issues began Tuesday with accusations the Hall of Famer is a manipulative father.

In his opening statement in the Collin County, Texas, Courthouse, the estranged wife's attorney, Luke Gunnstaks, called the retired football player "a playtime dad, a Disneyland dad" and a manipulative father who wants his children to reflect well on him "and if they don't, they're in trouble."

Jurors have been charged with giving one of the parents the right to determine the primary residence for the three children, ages 9 to 13, as well as geographic restrictions, the Dallas Morning News said Tuesday.

In court the jury watched a videotape of Deion Sanders' Hall of Fame 2011 acceptance speech, Sanders noting Pilar Sanders and his eldest daughter from a previous marriage were bickering at the ceremony.

"I always tried to overlook it," he said of Pilar Sanders and his family's inability to get along.

Deion Sanders later said he does not communicate with Pilar Sanders because he does not trust her. Asked by his attorney Rick Robertson if Deion Sanders expects a cordial relationship with his wife after their divorce is finalized, he replied, "When someone tries to destroy everything you are and everything you stand for, that's kind of hard. It's hard to communicate when you know the fabric of the person."

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