NFL Legend Mark Gastineau Claims He Was Raped Multiple Times As A Child

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Who Is Mark Gastineau? New Details On New York Jets Legend Who Claims He Was Raped As A Child

Former New York Jets player Mark Gastineau revealed that he was raped as a child during an interview with the New York Post. He said the sexual abuse started when he was 11 years old and lasted until he was 14.

According to the New York Post, his abuser was a man from Mexico who worked on the family’s ranch in Arizona. “Can you imagine, somebody like myself, a football player, a big bad guy, getting raped at that age? He scared me to death,” Gastineau said. “You would never believe I was going to grow up to be a football player.” He stated that he mentally blocked the horrendous events until he opened up to his third wife Jo Ann, whom he married 12 years ago. “I didn’t even think about it until I married her and I could trust someone to tell. But I held it in for so long, he said.”

Gastineau said he came forward about his abuse to raise awareness about sexual abuse. “I might as well get used to talking about this. I am sure people will be shocked,” he told the New York Post. “I really need people to watch what goes on around their kids.” 

So, who is Mark Gastineau?

For those of you not familiar with the NFL legend, we have some details about his career, family life and background. 

1. Gastineau recently declared he was cancer-free

According to Jets Wired, Gastineau shared in a Facebook post this past June that he was officially cancer-free after undergoing eight treatments, including chemo, radiation, and surgery, for stage 3 colon cancer.  Gastineau underwent treatment for six weeks and even played tennis the day before his final treatment.

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2. He's been married three times

Mark Gastineau married his first wife Lisa in 1979, but the two divorced in 1991 as a result of his affair with actress Brigitte Nielsen. Mark and Lisa share one daughter, Brittny. Lisa and Brittny had their own reality show called The Gastineau Girls on E! from 2005 to 2006. He also has a 29-year-old son with Brigitte named Killian Marcus Nielsen. Gastineau and Patricia Schoor married in 1997. By 1999 they were estranged. Gastineau married his third wife JoAnn in 2007. 

3. He went to jail for hitting his estranged wife

Gastineau was sentenced to 18 months in jail for failing to complete an anger-management course after hitting his estranged wife Patricia Schorr. He was ordered to complete a year-long anger management course, but only completed four months.

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4. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

According to ESPN, Gastineau has had quite a string of health battles. In 2017, he revealed in a radio interview that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, which he felt were linked to football injuries. When his ex-wife was asked about her thoughts, she shared that "it was karma," referring to his infidelity. 

5. He lost his mother last year

Just two days before his colon surgery, his mother passed away. Gastineau shared this as a relevant part of his recent confession because he didn't want his mother to know about the abuse he endured. “If my mom were alive, this story would never be out there. I would never, never be telling this story because it would kill her. My dad still has a hard time believing it.”

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6. He made the pro-bowl 5 years straight

According to NFL, during the years 1981-1985, Gastineau made the Pro Bowl five consecutive seasons and finished his career with 74 sacks — a 1982 official stat that remains a team record. The NFL official website regards Gastineau as one of the all-time most popular players on the New York Jets.

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Elizabeth Ward is a writing student finishing her bachelor’s at the University of Louisville. She covers news, entertainment, relationships and everything in between.