Ex-Girlfriend: David Caruso Abused Me

Girlfriend of three years and mother of two of his children claims fraud, infliction of emotional distress and breach of settlement against actor

By Gina Serpe, Ashley Fultz Apr 10, 2009 3:18 PMTags
Liza Marquez , David CarusoJean-Paul Aussenard/Getty Images

UPDATE 2: On Sept. 18, 2009, lawyers confirmed that the lawsuit has been dismissed. Court records showed that they will pay their own court costs and it does not appear money changed hands.

UPDATE: David Caruso's manager, Jason Weinberg, has released the following statement to E! News:

"Last month David became concerned about the welfare of his children and sought court assistance to redefine David's and Liza's custodial schedules.

"It now appears that Liza has decided to retaliate by raising false claims against David, which David finds unfortunate since these claims will divert the parties' and the court's attention away from the best interests of the children."

Asked for a counterpoint, Marquez's lawyer, Debra Opri, told us: "How can a lawsuit be retaliatory when the lawsuit was prepared, submitted to him in June, settled in August and then he delays it for six months. It is customary in family law matters for a person who doesn’t want to pay child support to ask for custody modification. Mr. Caruso should be very careful of his allegations against my client who is one of the finest mothers I have ever met."

David Caruso is going from the crime scene to the courthouse—and this time, he's not playing the good guy.

The CSI: Miami star's ex-partner filed suit against the actor Thursday, hurling a host of bombshell accusations at him in the process, including allegations of emotional abuse.

Liza Marquez alleges that Caruso "engaged in an ongoing strategy of intimidation, isolation and control...with the goal of asserting and maintaining power…extending to all areas of her life and work during their relationship."

The suit paints Caruso as extremely jealous and quick to charge her with being unfaithful, at various points in their relationship accusing her of having affairs with his personal assistant and even her own cousin and making sexual advances to his best friend, as well as to actors Greg Kinnear and Billy Dee Williams.

Caruso and Marquez dated and lived together for three years, from 2004 to 2007, after meeting while Marquez was working as a travel coordinator on CSI: Miami. Per her suit, he promised Marquez that he would provide for her financially for the rest of her life and as such informed her that she "no longer needed to work, or should work, so that she could be there" for him.

In the early days of their relationship, Marquez says he pressured her to take a month off of work to remain by his side while he traveled Europe on his TV hiatus.

During a stop in Paris in July 2004, she claims Caruso "asserted an irrational, jealous and abusive reaction" after she spoke to another man at an Internet café, and that he "proceeded to berate and emotionally abuse her" to the point where she was forced to "retreat to the bathroom and vomit."

In the fall of 2004, during a Jane Goodall event in Malibu, Caruso allegedly became "enraged" when he spotted Marquez speaking to fellow partygoer Kinnear, launching into a three-hour tirade as to how "disrespectful her actions were and how humiliated he was."

Later that fall, when the duo took a trip to Marquez's San Antonio hometown, Caruso flew into a rage when she spoke via telephone to a family member and "accused her of being unfaithful to him with her own cousin," the suit claims.

Marquez became pregnant with the duo's first child in early 2005, a development she claims the actor was "less than thrilled" about. She claims Caruso asked her to terminate the pregnancy and she refused.

During this time, Marquez said Caruso verbally and emotionally abused her by making "cruel, injurious and snide comments" about her weight.

At one point, per the court documents, Caruso told Marquez, "I guess for now you'll just be birthing a cow."

Shortly after, Caruso began to isolate himself, Marquez claimed, mostly to "seclude himself and watch Seinfeld television reruns."

After the birth of their child, Caruso allegedly became irritated after their newborn began crying and refused to participate in parenting, spending a majority of his days at a separate residence; around the same time, he accused Marquez of wanting to be intimate with actor Williams after spotting him on their airplane.

While Marquez was pregnant with the couple's second child, she claims Caruso became so "angry and agitated" that he raised his hand to her face.

"'If you do that, think hard, because it'll be the last time,' " she told him, per the court docs.

He did not follow through, but allegedly made the physical abuse threat several more times.

In February 2007, during Marquez's second pregnancy, Caruso told her that fatherhood wasn't for him. She later discovered, during a May trip to Key Largo, that Caruso was telling friends that Marquez was "mentally ill, an unfit mother and someone who disgusted him."

He also allegedly told friends that "pregnancy disgusted him," and that he wasn't sure if the baby was his.

After the birth of their second child and their subsequent separation, Marquez claims that she was warned by Caruso not to file suit against him or he would "bury her" and that she "would see jail time."

In August 2008, the duo came to an agreement that Marquez would receive a $1.2 million settlement: $1 million for her civil claims and $200,000 for attorneys' fees. However, she now claims that she has yet to receive any money from Caruso.

In addition to the $1.2 million lump sum, she is now also asking for monthly support, punitive and exemplary damages and is requesting that a Sherman Oaks residence be placed in her name.

The lawsuit charges Caruso with breach of contract/settlement agreement, fraud, breach of good faith and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

(Originally published April 10, 2009, at 7:10 a.m. PT)