Tim Donaghy’s ex-wife often found money rolls in his referee jacket when doing laundry
Kim Donaghy, the ex-wife of maligned former NBA referee Tim Donaghy, explained some of the circumstances that led to their immediate divorce after the scandal involving her ex-husband. Kim printed out the first 98 pages of her unfinished and unpublished memoir, The Ref’s Wife for ESPN’s Scott Eden, in which she explains the paradox of being both “lonely for him” and “truly afraid of him.”
“She describes the moment she picked up his official NBA jacket to put it in the wash and found in the pocket “a huge wad of $100 bills rolled in a rubber band.” How huge? With her thumbs and forefingers, she made an “O” the diameter of an orange.
“She struggled to recall exactly when, but she told me she probably started finding the cash in 2004, during the season. At the time, she told herself the money was from golf-course betting. But she would keep finding such rolls in his pockets as the years went on. When I asked, she said she never counted the money, never confronted him about its existence.
“Why?” She gave a one-word answer: “Scared.”
Kim described her husband as a very secretive person, one that would always be “locked in a room, on the phone.”
Donaghy’s life had to be secretive, fully-knowing he was violating NBA protocol by getting involved in sports betting, even more so by having as active a roll as betting in the games he personally officiated.
Donaghy’s “commission” was $2,000 per correct bet, and he was dead-on, firing at an 88-percent clip during the four-plus seasons he was involved in such bets.
Those money rolls were the extra cash he took home after officiating a game, a secret Kim wouldn’t forgive, filing for divorce in late 2007, a few months after the scandal went public.