Many people don’t understand the lasting impact this actress had on this very famous athlete.
[Athlete] is a nice guy, but he is a little naive.
[Actress] somehow convinced him very early on that talking to his family every day and hanging out with them on every holiday was stupid and damaging him and keeping him from being a man.
She said he needed to grow up and say “No” to them.
She said that she didn’t let her parents come to all her movie premieres and that she didn’t run home for every birthday or wedding, so his parents shouldn’t expect to go to all his games or expect him to go home for every holiday.
[Athlete] was supposed to be in [his good friend’s] wedding and then literally, the night before the wedding, [Actress] convinced him not to go.
So he didn’t.
He felt bad when his friends told him that there was a place card with his name on it on the table and that they were upset he didn’t show up.
He used to talk to his family every day.
[Actress] constantly teased him about being a “Mommy’s boy” and said that real men grow up and leave the nest and create their own lives.
He’s competitive, so she would give him these challenges like, “I’ll bet you can’t go one week without speaking to your family,” and he would do it just to prove he could.
Then it became a month, etc.
[Athlete’s siblings] were really worried when he didn’t even call his Mom and Dad to wish them a Happy Birthday.
He said he would meet them for lunch to talk about what was going on.
They flew out to meet him and waited at the restaurant for hours and hours.
[Actress] didn’t want him to go, so he just stood them up.
She thought that was a big victory.
We used to joke that she was kind of like an abusive spouse, where she was telling him,
“I’m the only person who really cares about you!
I’m the only person you can trust!
Your family and old friends are bad and they’re just using you and controlling you!”
Then she would pick out his new friends and control him.
Even though she’s out of the picture, he’s now out of the habit of being with his family.
It would be difficult for him to just go back to the way things were before she came along.