Dodgers outfielder files suit

Updated: November 17, 2004, 12:38 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Jayson Werth got the girl and was supposed to live happily ever after.

Jayson Werth
Werth

Yes, it's a dream come true to be a big league ball player, left fielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

But, it's a nightmare he and his wife, Julia, say they're living because of another high school hero she dated before Werth at Chatham Glenbard High School in Illinois.

Julia Werth has filed a protective order with the Sangamon County state's attorney preventing Ryan Root from coming near the couple.

Jayson Werth has filed a suit in Cook County Circuit Court accusing Root of spreading vicious lies about Julia and him.

In publishing the story Tuesday, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Root, who lives in Estero, Fla., could not be reached for comment but that his father, Ken, said that his son dated Julia during high school in the small town near Springfield, Ill.

Ryan left Chatham Glenbard High during his junior year, when the Roots moved to Cincinnati and he later wrestled at Penn State, graduating last year, according to the Sun-Times.

But, he apparently didn't forget either of the Werths. Jayson was named the top high school baseball prospect in the state by the Sun-Times in 1997, was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles out of high school, signed for an $885,000 bonus, married Julia and played his way to the majors.

The suit claims Root has inundated Werth's family and friends since 2001 with letters that allege Werth is unfaithful to Julia and is undeserving of her.

The letters threatened to reveal pictures and videotapes of Werth having sex with other women, one of whom was alleged to be pregnant with his child. Root is accused of sending letters supposedly from a Florida woman named Angie who claimed she was due to deliver Werth's baby in January 2004, but the lawsuit states that there is no such Angie and was no such baby due.

All the claims are false, Werth says in his suit, and he seeks damages from Root for libelous comments and the harm they've brought to his family. The Werths have two children and still live in Illinois during the offseason.