Red Sox great David Ortiz is trying to resolve a heated legal and financial dispute in the Dominican Republic with the mother of one of his children.
Both Ortiz and Fary Almanzar Fernandez, who gave birth to their son, David Andres Ortiz, in 2008, have obtained restraining orders against each other, in a conflict that has commanded headlines in recent days in Ortiz’s native country.
The disagreement comes a year after Ortiz nearly died from a close-range gunshot in his back at a nightspot in Santo Domingo, the nation’s capital, where he grew up and keeps a home.
“For the last 12 years, I have always provided significant financial support to the mother of my 12-year-old son, David, who is a loving member of my family,” Ortiz said Tuesday in a statement issued by his spokesman, Joe Baerlein. “That support has included housing as well as financial support for David’s education and well-being.”
Ortiz’s lawyers in the Dominican Republic have asserted the dispute centers on Fernandez’s push for greater financial support. The restraining order against Ortiz instructs him to stay away from her and refrain from “annoying, intimidating, or threatening” her. The language in the order Ortiz obtained last week against Fernandez is similar.
“I regret that David’s mother has chosen to use the courts to assert a baseless claim against me in the form of a restraining order,” Ortiz said. “I have not seen her in person for over a year, and since then communication between us has overwhelmingly been limited to texts.”
Earlier Tuesday, Ortiz tearfully told a Dominican television news outlet that it “breaks my soul” to see “my son become an enemy of mine” amid the dispute.
The interview came a day after Ortiz tried to visit a home he owns and that his son and the boy’s mother use as a beach house in Samana, a coastal community about 110 miles northeast of Santo Domingo.
Ortiz’s son posted an Instagram video Monday night, alleging that Ortiz struck an “aggressive tone” in asking the boy and his grandmother to leave the home within an hour. A video was also posted of the scene at the residence, showing the boy’s grandmother verbally lashing out at Ortiz while the retired Sox slugger waited calmly outside the home with a relative he considers his brother and one security guard.
Ortiz said, through Baerlein, that his relationship with his son had been loving until this conflict. In the television interview Tuesday, Ortiz said he did not act aggressively at the house and that the purpose of his visit was to spend time with his son because he knew the boy’s mother would not be present.
“It’s unfortunate that Fary and her mother have used his son as a pawn in the financial disputes between David and Fary,” Baerlein said. “He feels very badly about that.”
Ortiz has invested in improving the home in Samana, and he had also hoped to inspect the renovations during his visit, Baerlein said. Ortiz departed without seeing the renovations or spending time with his son.
Ortiz has purchased a home for his son and placed it in a trust for the boy to own when he becomes an adult, Baerlein said. Ortiz also has given Fernandez a condominium for her and their son to live in at the upscale Naco Blue Tower in Santo Domingo, according to Baerlein.
Fernandez has complained about the tower, in part because it was also the home of alleged drug kingpin Cesar (The Abuser) Peralta before he was arrested last year. Peralta is currently in custody in Colombia, awaiting extradition to face federal drug trafficking charges in the United States.
Ortiz and his wife, Tiffany, have two teenage children, Alexandra and D’Angelo. Ortiz also has a daughter, Jessica, from a previous relationship in the Dominican Republic.
Jessica came to Boston after high school in the Dominican Republic and attended Regis College, where her father received an honorary degree and delivered an emotional address on her graduation day in 2019.
It had not been widely known that Ortiz had a fourth child, although he has posted images of himself and young David on social media. In a Globe interview last year, Ortiz said he spent a joyful time with his sons David and D’Angelo just hours before he was shot at a sidewalk cafe in Santo Domingo.
The boys have spent additional time together since then and were growing closer before the dispute between Ortiz and young David’s mother, Baerlein said. D’Angelo is currently in the Dominican Republic playing baseball and had expected to spend time with young David before the conflict between their father and Fernandez erupted.
Fourteen people have been arrested in connection with Ortiz’s shooting, while others remain at large. A motive for the attack remains in question. Dominican prosecutors initially described Ortiz as the shooter’s target, then shifted their account to allege the actual target was a person seated at the same table. Ortiz has hired Ed Davis, a former Boston police commissioner, to investigate, and Davis’s inquiry remains open.
Ortiz said in the Globe interview last year that he nearly died on the night of the shooting and later feared that he would not survive the infections he contracted during his lengthy hospitalization. He has since resumed most of his regular activities, from visiting the Red Sox spring training camp to pursuing his commercial and charitable interests.
In his statement Tuesday, Ortiz said, “I would ask for privacy going forward for my family, especially for my son, David, as we work in good faith to come to a reasonable financial settlement.”
(Michael Vega of the Globe staff contributed to this report.)
Bob Hohler can be reached at email@example.com.