Autos: Stepmother sues suspended Mayfield over comments
By MIKE CRANSTON
AP Sports Writer
STATESVILLE, N.C. — Jeremy Mayfield’s stepmother sued the suspended NASCAR driver Wednesday, claiming he made slanderous, false and defamatory statements.
In civil court papers filed in Iredell County civil court, Lisa Mayfield argues her stepson falsely accused her of killing his father and taking money from NASCAR. She’s seeking compensatory and punitive damages of more than $10,000 each and “further relief as the Court may deem just and proper.”
Jeremy Mayfield’s comments in several interviews came after his stepmother signed an affidavit claiming she witnessed him taking methamphetamine at least 30 times over seven years. Her affidavit was part of a NASCAR filing asking the federal judge who lifted the driver’s drug suspension to reinstate the ban.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has since ruled in NASCAR’s favor to keep Mayfield off the track.
The driver has denied ever using the illegal drug.
Lisa Mayfield attorney Edmund Gaines wrote in the three-page filing that Jeremy Mayfield made the comments with “intent to injure and damage the Plaintiff” and “with reckless disregard for the truth.”
In interviews, Jeremy Mayfield suggested NASCAR paid his stepmother to lie about his alleged past drug use and accused her of killing his father.
“NASCAR did a great job, that is pretty much a low blow, especially with a lady who is involved with killing my dad,” according to the court filing, quoting an interview with Charlotte, N.C., TV station WSOC.
Police ruled Terry Mayfield’s death in 2007 a suicide.
John Buric, an attorney for Jeremy Mayfield, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
Mayfield was suspended May 9 for failing a random drug test eight days earlier for what NASCAR has said was a positive test for methamphetamine. The driver sued, and the lawsuit has been set for a jury trial on Sept. 13, 2010, according to court documents filed Tuesday.