Mavs Star Dirk Nowitzki's Ex From Prison: 'I'm Sorry' And 'I Still Love Dirk'
by Mike Fisher    Sun, Nov 22, 2009, 07:09 PM
 “I still love Dirk.”

   That’s what Cristal Taylor is saying to the German media from her cell in Vandelia, Missouri (“a hicktown,’’ they call it in Germany), where Mavs star Dirk Nowitzki’s ex-fiancee is serving her five-year sentence. While Nowitzki is experienced yet another MVP-type season, “Broken Cristal’’ claims she is apologetic and hopeless.

   "I'm so sorry for everything,’’ Cristal says. “Dirk is still the love of my life. But I have no hope."

   I know I promised some time back that I’d written my final words about this woman. But as The 75-Member Staff goes through the German-to-English translation here, we decided there are so many laughs and so many lies that it’s worth passing along.

Here's how we translated it from BILD over at


It was a pitch black summer for Dirk Nowitzki. He did not practice and he did not play in the European Championship for Germany.

In May, the basketball star experienced the greatest crisis of his life.

A task force of the FBI arrest the woman with whom he was planning his future at his villa in Dallas.

She was already wearing his engagement ring ($190,000). But while the marriage contract was prepared, the bride turned out to be a long-sought impostor, forger and thief, who already had been convicted to a five-year sentence in and has been wanted with an arrest warrant.

Cristal Taylor (38) - aka Debra Jackson, Shana Mancini, Crista Santiago (eight astray on record) - was sentenced in late August in the U.S. state of Missouri to five years in prison.

She sits in the women's prison Vandelia (2,076 population) in the state of Missouri with the prisoner number 222716. She shares her cell with three women.

It took weeks before she agreed to speak with “BILD am SONNTAG” (the german newspaper) about her busted dream of living on the sunny side. (FISH note: The photo at below-right is of the reporter visiting her in prison; upper left is also of Taylor in prison.)

Vandelia, a hicktown two and a half hours by car from St. Louis, is one of those places where many dreams are buried.

After two inspections, the reporter is allowed to enter through a steel door to the visitors' room.

Green Blue plastic chairs with round wooden tables, the blinds are down, surveillance cameras on the walls. After 20 minutes Cristal Taylor is brought by two guards.

She's never been a beautiful woman, but cleaned up she looked handsome, as one could tell from the mugshots. The prison has taken her the last bit of sweetness. She is wearing khaki pants, white socks, sneakers, gray polo shirt with a name stickers.

Slowly Cristal Taylor begins to talk openly about the greatest opportunity of her live, which she destroyed with her lies.

Several times she is weeping bitterly and a guard has to bring her tissues.

"It was five years ago, and pure coincidence. I had dialed the wrong number when I tried to call my brother and landed on an answering machine. I thought, wow, this guy sounds really sweet and left a message. "

Months later Dirk Nowitzki actually writes back. They chat and there is sympathy. Cristal Taylor says she had no idea who she was dealing with. Nowitzki? Basketball Star? Never heard of him.

The curiosity is growing. In 2004 she goes to a Mavs Game in Houston. At the game they see each other from distance, and wave not more. But they talk on the phone, write emails and text messages  even more intense, in the middle of the night, after waking up, before the departure - "ten times a day and more.”

The conversations are just about basketball and music - "Dirk is no who trusts easily."  At some point he opens up.

Nowitzki, who was then allied otherwise has signalled her to wait for him, says Cristal Taylor. "Our deal was that we don´t start a relationship as long as he is allied."

How long did this deal last?

"About three years." After that everything developed in fast forward.  Around New Year Nowitzki proposed, Taylor says. "He covered the floor with rose petals from the bedroom to the bathroom. He got down on his knee and opened a Tiffany box. Inside was
the most beautiful ring I've ever seen, from the Legacy Collection with a very big diamond."

Where the ring is today?

"At a safe place."

Why did you not return the ring to him?

"I've asked Dirk thru the lawyers, whether he wants him back. His answer was that he did not want him. I will never sell him."

After Nowitzki came back from the Olympic Games in Beijing in late august of 2008, she has moved into his villa in the upscale district of Preston Hollow.


 It must have felt like the story of Alice in Wonderland.

Christal Taylor, who grew up in poverty in St. Louis, who faked checks, lied, stole money and left a husband (1998 to 2001) with $333,000 in credit card debt, cheated a dentist, left her three children (14, 15 and 18) behind by her mothers in St. Louis and worked as a waitress in a strip club, had suddenly everything a woman can dream of.

A famous, wealthy man (as a professional Nowitzki earned about 150 million U.S. dollars) and then this beautiful hideout -- 856 square meters of living space on 8,085 square meters of ground, worth 5.8 million U.S. dollars, five bedrooms, five baths, five fireplaces, a tennis court
, pool, spa area …

Only one thing was missing: boisterous parties, guests, chic dresses, photographers. The couple preferred to stay for themselves.

"Dirk always said:" My private life is my private life. And I did not want out in the public."

When she talks about her life, Cristal Taylor breaks out in tears again.

"I made him breakfast, fresh fruits and porridge.
Then he went to practice. We had our morning ritual: He opened the garage, got in the car and I stood outside and waved. He came home for dinner, or I cooked him something and brought it to the stadium. After that I cleaned up, although there was a cleaning lady. In the evening we watched television, especially basketball."

No parties? No movies?

"No, we went once to a party."

Did she know his teammates?

"No, I did not want that. He did not tell the fact that he got engaged until Christmas to the team and his friends. He bought me a dog at the same time."

Taylor says she was happy the way it was. "I loved Dirk's humor, his wit, there was no dull moment with him."

She looked forward to the wedding on the 18th of July.

"Very small, maybe 20 people in the garden behind the house. No reporters. "I already picked out the wedding already: A simple one for $45."

Dirk parents met her the first time right before Christmas. "Even with the language difficulties I did well with them."

Once she even watched a game with his father Jörg at the arena. Taylor claims that she was pregnant in January. Shortly thereafter, she lost the child.

Ironically the attempt to make their love official, brings out her lies. While the marriage contract is drawn up the  lawyers and Holger Geschwindner want to know
more about her past.

Nowitzki did not know anything about her crimes?
Did she never tell him?

Her answer: "I wanted to tell him everything. But I was afraid he will tell Holger, because he wanted to get rid of me, since he saw me the first time."

Nowitzki did not suspected anything?

Cristal Taylor: "He knew that I was arrested for check fraud and had probation. He even called me "Little Jailbird". But he did not know I was wanted on arrest warrants."

In her version she was willing surrender to the police in the summer while Nowitzki would not have been home because of the playoffs.

It did not come that far. The handcuffs clicked on May 6th at 11 o´clock.

At that moment Nowitzki is on the team plane, returning from a game. He is stunned, deeply hurt and angry.

Only one more time she hears from him. While she goes to prison, she says that she is pregnant "I got the papers that he wanted full custody of the child." Again, she lost the child. "I was under enormous stress. I had lost the love of my life."

Nowitzki backs out for weeks, does not answer the phone, gets help from his family.

It was poor judgement he later admits.  

He now looks forward again: "Finally, I want a family with children before I'm 40," he once told BILD.

"It will take time until I have found the right woman, but it may work someday."

Cristal Taylor does not know how to proceed after her prison time. She might become a nurse, or she will write a book about her experiences ("I have many messages that tell the whole story") and then again she wants to apologize to Nowitzki and his family.

"I'm so sorry for everything. Dirk is still the love of my life. But I have no hope."


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Comments (5)add comment
written by Jonathan Green , November 23, 2009

Man, it's hard out here for a pimp these days, now yall done gone and given the game a black eye! So this ho get five years, and raise up with 190K ring she sell for about 75-80k? Dam! In Ghetto terms, "That Ho Got Paid"!

written by Jonathan Green , November 23, 2009

Now I am mad! Byron George, you let this ho raise up like this?

written by Byron George , November 24, 2009

Jonathan Green,
I'm sorry man.

written by You know who , February 14, 2010

Mike Fisher should know about double lives. How many times has he gone out on internet dates with others while nursing a full-time unsuspecting girlfriend?

Mexican lunch, anyone? Fisher loves free chips and a girl who pays.

written by Air Jordan shoes , April 15, 2010

Will always have their own dreams forever! Believe in yourself!
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