Wade Boggs: Love Ended 2 Years Before Affair’s End

Times Staff Writer

Despite pressure from his agent and his own feelings of frustration, Wade Boggs refused to sever his extramarital affair with a Costa Mesa woman for almost four years, the Red Sox star said in a sworn declaration he gave recently in Irvine.

“The feeling was totally different the last two years than the first two years,” Boggs, 30, said in a deposition given May 16 as part of Margo Adams’ lawsuit against him. “The only way I can describe it is like a volcano getting ready to erupt. Tones in her voice, conversations, arguments that we would have, these kinds of things just led me to believe that this was not a utopia situation.”

That slow realization, Boggs said, culminated in a frantic few days in April, 1988, in which he sought out Red Sox officials, teammates who had had affairs, and eventually the FBI for guidance in ending his strained relationship with Adams.

Boggs’ 555 pages of deposition statements, obtained by The Times, offer the most detailed account to date of his version of the affair that has coupled the star third baseman with the 33-year-old Adams in headlines across the country.

In a pending lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court, Adams will seek to use his statements as a key to her effort to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars that she says Boggs promised her as compensation for accompanying him constantly on team road trips from 1984 to 1988, and deserting her job as a mortgage broker.


A former Miss Stanton, Adams has used her new-found status in the public eye to negotiate a recent interview and photo layout in Penthouse magazine, as well as to embark on a nationwide talk-show tour publicizing her claim that Boggs deceived her.

For his part, Boggs, 30, has declined, with only a few exceptions, to talk about details of the affair publicly, sticking instead to baseball in the face of some speculation that the controversy has affected the hitting skills of the five-time American League batting champion, who got off to a slow start this season.

Boggs explained that silence in his deposition, saying that he believes he has been unfairly misquoted in the past by unnamed journalists.

But he was required to discuss the case during the three deposition statements that he has given so far to Adams’ attorney--two in Florida in February, and the third in Irvine last month, a 3 1/2-hour session that drew reporters and photographers to the door of the law office.

In the deposition, Boggs acknowledged that he paid for the travel and accommodations of his “mistress” during their continual road-trip rendezvous and offered to help Adams resolve the severe financial problems that she said the frequent travels had caused her.

And he said that he encouraged Adams, early in their affair, to give up her job and find a position that would make it “easier to travel” with him.

But he adamantly denied Adams’ assertion that, for the duration of their relationship, he paid her $2,000 a month in cash and also agreed to compensate her more fully later for her lost income.

“I wouldn’t stand for that,” he said. “I felt that that’s paying for her to be a mistress. I felt that reimbursing her on her plane flights and whatever expenses she incurred in the city that she was at was sufficient enough.”

Struck by “an infatuation” with a woman he first spotted wearing a pink miniskirt in an Anaheim bar called Crackers, Boggs said, “In the beginning . . . if I could have seen her every day of the year, it would have been great.”

But Boggs said the fervor gradually subsided and, about halfway through the four-year relationship, he began to think about ending it.

Adams’ financial demands began to consume the relationship, he asserted. His agent, opposed to the continuation of the affair, warned Boggs about “getting in too deep,” he said. And foremost among his concerns, Boggs said, was that he had an increasing fear that his wife, Debbie, at home in Massachusetts, would learn about the affair.

Debbie, married to Boggs since 1976, had learned about previous short-lived relationships with other women--including one in Ohio whom Boggs said he had gotten pregnant--but that his wife had never left him, he said.

But Boggs said he feared his wife would view Adams’ relationship differently if she found out. “One-night stands are acceptable, but two-year affairs are not,” he said in the deposition.

And so, even though the affair was common knowledge among many Red Sox players and team officials, Boggs said, he went to great lengths to try and leave little in the way of paper trails that could alert his wife.

(The deposition transcript shows that this attempt apparently failed and that Boggs’ wife tried to contact Margo Adams during the course of the affair.)

Convinced as early as 1986 that the affair had to end, Boggs began dropping what he called “subtle hints” to Adams on their road trips, he said, but still continued to see her often.

Boggs said he was concerned that Adams might tell his wife about their affair and make good on her alleged threat that “if you break up with me, I’m going to make your life living hell.”

It was not until a road trip in April at the beginning of the 1988 season that Boggs said he finally managed to have the “guts” to break off the affair, bringing Adams a dozen roses and telling her that she should “come back to California and find somebody and fall in love.”

But the end was not to be that easy. A few weeks later, Boggs said, he received several telephone calls from Adams that prompted him to seek the advice of other players, his business associates, his manager and other team officials out of concern that he was being “blackmailed.”

Boggs said he told his agent “that I got a call from California by Miss Adams, that she wanted a hundred thousand dollars or she was going to send pictures, plane receipts, itineraries, room keys, assorted collectible paraphernalia that she had collected over the four years to my wife in Boston if payment wasn’t received.”

While Boggs has denied that the current controversy has affected his play on the field, box scores show that he went through an 0-for-10 slump--unusual for him--in the midst of these various conversations and that, by June, 1988, he was only two shy of reaching his season high for pop-fly outs in a single season.

After consulting with team officials and others, Boggs said he decided to “get it into the legal hands of the people that should know about it” and filed a complaint with the FBI alleging that Adams was trying to blackmail him. That prompted federal authorities to interrogate Adams in Orange County as part of a criminal investigation.

Adams’ attorney, James McGee, has maintained that Boggs knew the charge to be baseless and that Adams was merely trying to recover part of the money Boggs owed her. McGee said he may use the FBI incident to expand Adams’ lawsuit to include claims of slander and infliction of emotional distress.

In February, the state Court of Appeal in Santa Ana threw out a key emotional distress component of Adams’ claim, but McGee said he is confident that he can get all or part of the claim reinstated in light of new admissions by Boggs.

Settlement talks in the case have stalled, attorneys say. Boggs has offered Adams $20,000 to give up her claim, and Adams’ side has demanded at least $125,000.