Owens fires publicist Etheredge

Updated: January 9, 2007, 5:44 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Under normal circumstances, a professional athlete firing his publicist would not warrant publicizing.

Terrell Owens, right, and Kim Etheredge
AP/Tim SharpTerrell Owens looks on as Kim Etheredge responds to a question during a September news conference addressing news of his accidental overdose.

But when the athlete is Terrell Owens, and the publicist is Kim Etheredge, well, it's certainly noteworthy.

The well-publicized Dallas Cowboys receiver, who apparently distanced himself from Etheredge following his September hospitalization for an accidental overdose from prescription painkillers, has fired her, Dallas area media is reporting.

Owens was hospitalized the night of Sept. 24, and an initial police report that said he was depressed and tried to kill himself reached the media. Owens denounced it a few hours later, saying he mixed painkillers he was prescribed for a hand injury with his usual supplements.

Etheredge made the 911 call, which showed that she was on the line for 41 seconds, never said anything about a suicide attempt and never mentioned Owens' name.

"I think he took too many pills," Etheredge told a paramedic. "Please. Now. ... What do I do if the pills are down the throat?"

However, when the gum-chewing Etheredge spoke to reporters the following day, she appeared annoyed and lashed out at authorities, saying, "I am just upset that I just feel they take advantage of Terrell. Had this been someone else, this may not have happened," and, "Terrell has 25 million reasons why he should be alive," referring to the three-year, $25 million contract he signed with the Cowboys in March 2006.

Authorities demanded an apology from Owens and Etheredge, and she later said she was sorry in an interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Etheredge added that her comments were "about the entire situation with the report and ensuing media controversy," not just the police.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.