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The doctor was well aware of his obligations to report incidents of domestic abuse, but he wasn’t certain how hard he should push this instance.  “Mrs Hill, these stitches look complete, I think you’re well enough to be released.  You said your husband dropped you off, but is he still waiting?  The visitors’ lobby is empty.”

Kitty Hill sensed the doctor was probing.  The entire exam he never once let on he was even aware of her celebrity.  She’s ready to leave and now he asks questions?  How’d he ever complete med school with such deliberation?  “No, he had to get back to care for his mother.  He called for a driver to take me home.”  Kitty didn’t look away, she expected more questions and she intended to force the calculated doctor to return the volley.

The doctor wasn’t normally this perplexed, but Kitty Hill was a world class tennis champion.  No athlete from Hong Kong had ever achieved her level of fame.  Or wealth.  He didn’t follow sports but he knew her story fairly well.  Her father was an American executive who came to the colony before China regained sovereignty.  He stayed after marrying a banker’s daughter to raise his new family.  He was a tennis nut and donated significant wealth towards establishing tennis leagues and training camps in an attempt to mirror his home city of Atlanta.  Plus she was way sexier than Maria Sharapova.  But the doctor’s training returned to him as he asked, “Mrs. Hill, please understand that I am obligated to report cases of spousal abuse.  Your injuries are not consistent with falling off the diving board in your pool.  Maybe the facial abrasions but certainly not the bruising around your throat.  I’m going to report this.  I’m sorry.”

Spousal abuse?  Interesting he should choose such a generic phrase.  If he only knew!  “Doctor, I can assure your my husband did not beat me up.  But let’s say he did and I choose not to report it.  And he certainly isn’t going to.  But then your statements lead to a media frenzy that causes me some angst.  Perhaps it causes me to lose a sponsor or two.  But I never admit to the wife abuse – and given the loss of millions of yuan, not just personally but to the many who earn their living from me, my agent is forced to sue you for libel.  Does your malpractice cover libel Doctor?”

After the doctor left the room, Kitty gathered her things and called her agent.  “Sorry I couldn’t talk sooner Andrew, they don’t allow cell phones in ER.  What do you know so far?”

“I don’t know shit so far Kitty, other than the local radio show is reporting an ambulance was at your house.  I didn’t know if it was for you or Dave.  Are you OK?”

“Yeah, I’m fine.  I can give you the details once I’m in the car.  I can’t talk about this walking through the lobby.”

“I’m glad you’re OK Kitty.  I was worried.  But now I’m worried about publicity.  We have to respond fast before the public’s imagination gets the best of them.”  Andrew’s phone beeped to indicate a second caller.  “Shoot, that’s your husband.  Why isn’t he with you?  Should I ignore him?”

“No.”  Kitty chose her words carefully.  “Put me on hold and see what he has to say.”

As Andrew put Kitty on hold and accepted the second caller, he switched to speaker.  He was in the privacy of his office on a land line and it occurred to him it was silly for not either remaining on the phone or talking to them both on speaker.  “Andrew speaking.”

“Hey Andrew, it’s Dave.  Gotta minute?”

“Well yes I do, but I should tell you I’m already aware of the ambulance at your house.  I’ve been trying to talk with Kitty.  What happened Dave?”

“Kitty is fine.  I whacked her in the face with her lucky racket.  And then I choked her with it.  When she passed out, she hit her head on the table and needed some stitches.  But they told me she was fine, no concussion, before I left the hospital.”

“I see.”  Andrew was talking now as if he was on a suicide hotline, trying to act calm while wondering if he’d be hearing shots soon.  “Why would you do that Dave?”

“Listen Andrew, don’t act coy with me.  I went through Kitty’s text messages.  She neglected to delete them after last week’s tourney in the States.  She’s been quite the slut on tour and based on what I read, you’ve been arranging her trysts for her.  So you tell me, why would you do that?”


“Right, that’s about what I expected you to say.  But you’re going to have to say something.  Naturally, I want a divorce.  But I’m not going to accept the current conditions of our pre-nup.”

The agent was also a lawyer and he was beginning to catch on.  “I can understand what you’re going through right now Dave, but I don’t recommend acting too quickly on such strong emotions.”

“Oh, I think it’s a little too late for that Andrew.  Did I mention I whacked her in the face with her lucky racket?”

“Yes, we covered that Dave.”  Different tack, Dave’s playing aggressive.  “Dave, if you understand your pre-nup, you have significant incentive to reconsider brash reactions.  Even leaving Kitty with cause you’re only provided with 5% of her wealth.  And let’s be clear, that’s 5% of her wealth before you leave her.  It doesn’t entitle you to any post-marital residuals from her winnings or sponsors.”

“You’re not listening Andrew.  I said I want to renegotiate our pre-nup.  Now!  Over the phone!”

“Why would I do that?”

“Because if you don’t, I’m going to tell the press exactly what happened.  There won’t be too many post-marital residuals after Kitty’s sponsors drop her for being an adulterous whore.  I want a simple rewrite of our agreement.  Remove the conditions about who leaves whom, and up the ante to 25%”

“Dave, if you talk to the media, you’ll be arrested for assault and battery.”

“Not if I do it from out of the country.  I’m traveling with my mother back to her home in Bristol, Connecticut.  Which just happens to be the headquarters for ESPN.  I’m not afraid to admit what I’ve done and forfeit my current 5%.  I won’t be made a cuckhold.  Are we clear?”

Andrew wasn’t about to negotiate.  “I could call the authorities and have them deny your exit visa.”

“You could try.  But you’d have to tell them everything which sort of defeats your goal.  Besides, I’m already at the airport.  I’m boarding Kitty’s private jet as soon as I hang up with you.  I expect the new papers at my mother’s house when I arrive in the States.  Do you need her fax number?”

Andrew placed the speaker on mute.  “Fuck!  Goddamned sonofabitch!”  He took the speaker back off mute.  “I’ll need to talk first with Kitty.  She has to agree to this.”

“I’m logged into her phone account now.  I’ve gotten pretty good at tracking her calls.  Her records show she started a call with you 15 minutes ago and it doesn’t indicate an end time.  I’m guessing you either have her on hold now or this is actually a conference call and she is listening in.  Kitty, you there?”

“Oh, I forgot.  I do have her on hold.  We’ll see how she wants to handle it Dave.  You’ll know by whether or not a new contract is there for you to sign.”

“Good, and one more thing.  ESPN will be going live with the breaking news of me traveling to the States as part of their developing story – in about 15 minutes.”

“That doesn’t help, Dave!”

“It helps you to know how serious I am.  And to appreciate I really am in touch with the media on this.  I’m a strong believer in motivation.  Hope to talk with you soon.  Bye Andrew.”

Kitty’s call became active again as Dave hung up.  “Kitty, you still there?”

“Fuck no!  There was at the hospital 15 minutes ago.  Now I’m here, half way home!  What took so fucking long?”

“Sorry Kitty, but you need to calm down.  We have to talk”

“I’m sorry too, that was ugly.  That doctor wouldn’t prescribe me any muscle relaxers.  That asswipe.  What did my husband want?  A divorce?”

“For starters, yes.  And he wants to renegotiate his pre-nup to receive 25%.”

“Why would I agree to that?  If he takes this public, he could be arrested.”

“He’s on your jet leaving for the States as we speak.  And it’s pretty clear from talking to him that he doesn’t care about the consequences.  He knows you stand more to lose than he does, and he’s right.  In fact, he doesn’t care about residuals so let’s just talk this through.  Let’s say we give him 25%.  That’s out of your current net worth.  Not only will you not lose any sponsors but without Dave in the picture, we could potentially grow your support base dramatically.  We’ve yet to have a serious discussion on this Kitty, but you got married way too young.  Once you’re single, you could have a coming out party – ala Brittany Spears – but without the crazy part.  We can only play up your sex appeal so much while you’re married, but single?  Baby it’s a whole new you and a whole new set of sponsors.  We could land you Diageo.  Give up 25% now and gain 10 times after your divorce.  That’s what I call a win-win.  What do you think?”

“I’m up for that.  Draw up the new contract.”

The end