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'Mindfreak' Criss Angel calls estranged wife's claims "preposterous"


By Christopher Rocchio, 07/09/2007 

Criss Angel is known for performing some impressive illusions on A&E Network's Criss Angel Mindfreak reality series -- but, even with his extensive background in magic, he apparently believes it would be foolish for anyone to think he could have kept his estranged wife a "secret."

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"Her claim that she was my 'secret' wife is preposterous and inaccurate," said Angel in a statement released Sunday, according to People.  "Our marriage was well known to my friends and all of my fans worldwide."

Joanne Sarantakos filed for divorce from her husband of five years -- Christopher "Criss Angel" Sarantakos -- 14 months ago, however the proceedings took a nasty turn on June 29 when the 39-year-old illusionist attended a hearing in Nassau County court to answer charges that his marriage "broke down" after he became famous following A&E's July 2005 debut of Mindfreak and kept his wife in the shadows.

Joanne's lawyer alleged that Angel has been "abusive" and also refused to provide his 37-year-old estranged wife with any monetary support, claims that were supported by several of her family members.

"The statement about lack of support by her and her family is both shocking and a prime example that they will stop at nothing to paint me in the press as some sort of monster in order to extort more money out of me," said Angel in the statement, according to People.

In addition, Joanne has accused Angel of having an affair with actress Cameron Diaz, and her attorney stated he planned to subpoena Diaz and have her testify about their relationship to support his client's divorce suit based on mental cruelty and abandonment. 

However Angel apparently feels you don't have to be a Mindfreak to realize the timeframe from when the divorce was initially filed 14 months ago to when the hearing was held two weeks ago doesn't add up.

"When [Joanne] filed her complaint over one year ago, and when she amended it twice, she made no mention of alleged adultery or lack of financial support," said Angel in the statement, People reported.  "The fact that they decided to play both of those cards for the first time last week demonstrates their willingness to manufacture stories for their own purposes."

Diaz had previously told People via her representative that she and Angel met in May 2007 -- more than a year after Joanne filed for divorce -- and regardless, stated that they only went on four dates and "have no current relationship."

"Cameron is a good friend and an amazing person and to defame her and myself and paint her as the reason for my marriage's demise is factually inaccurate, ridiculous and just plain wrong," said Angel in his statement, according to People.  "It seems clear, and very unfortunate to me that Joanne and her attorney both hope that these false statements will provide my estranged wife, who has also been dating during this time, the financial windfall she is obviously seeking."

Joanne's attorney was not immediately available to comment on Angel's statement, according to People.

(Photo credit A&E)


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