NORTH PALM BEACH, FL - Former tennis star Jennifer Capriati is batting down accusations -- which led a Florida police department to seek an arrest warrant -- that she stalked and punched an ex-boyfriend.
An incident occurred on February 14, Valentine's Day, at the Oxygen Health & Wellness gym in North Palm Beach, Florida. A report from that southeastern Florida community's Police Department said the ex-boyfriend claimed Capriati "started screaming" at him before punching him "with a closed fist four times in the chest."
The 28-year-old accuser, Ivan Brannan Jr., said he was eventually able to lock himself in the men's locker room, according to the police report. Four days later, he went to police headquarters and outlined what he said were "seven other incidents pertaining to Capriati stalking/harassing/following" him. Brannan said he'd dated the American tennis player from May 2011 to February 2012.
North Palm Beach Police subsequently requested an arrest warrant against the 36-year-old Capriati, the department's Aubre Stroud said Saturday. As of that time, no arrest warrant had been issued -- something the state attorney's office would decide.
Capriati's camp highlighted this fact, in a statement issued Friday, saying the case "has not yet been assigned in Palm Beach County and has not been reviewed."
"The current facts being circulated by Mr. Brannan are an overexaggeration and the police report is one-sided in (his) favor, since they failed to get Ms. Capriati's side of the story," said the statement, which was attributed to the ex-tennis player's legal representative.
"We will make sure that Ms. Capriati's side of the story is fully conveyed, and when the truth comes out, she will be vindicated from these charges."
Capriati burst on the tennis scene as a teenager, breaking into the sport's ranking of top 10 players by 14 and advancing to the semifinals of the French Open in 1990.
She remained a force on the tour into the early 1990s, highlighted by a gold medal win at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.
But Capriati's star status faded the next few years, a time that included widely reported arrests on shoplifting and marijuana possession charges. She remained off the court into the late 1990s.
The New York-born tennis player came back strong at the end of the decade, and in 2001 won the Australian Open and the French Open on her way to becoming the world's No. 1 player that year. Another Australian Open title came the following year.
The 2004 season was Capriati's last. Eight years later, she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.