Former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell may be suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) according to his estranged wife. CTE is a progressive brain condition that’s thought to be caused by repeated blows to the head and repeated episodes of concussion.
According to court documents obtained, Liddell and his wife, Heidi, are engaged in a custody battle over their two children. Liddell filed for divorce three days after being arrested on charges of misdemeanor domestic battery in October 2021. Liddell went to jail that night, but the District Attorney’s office opted not to charge him or his wife in the incident.
During the legal process, the couple underwent an evaluation by the court and each was interviewed to assist in determining primary guardianship. In the filing, details emerged and allegations were made.
“Ms. Liddell also stated that Mr. Liddell has had a lot of paranoia and accused her of a lot of things. He also became very worried that she was going to leave him after he lost his job in 2017. Ms. Liddell also claimed that Mr. Liddell has become increasingly violent. She stated that this last thing that happened was not typical and she was concerned that he had experienced traumatic brain injury,” the report stated.
“Ms. Liddell also claimed that Mr. Liddell has been violent with non-family members. She claimed that Mr. Liddell has knocked out friends when they tried to help him and used to beat people up for street drugs. She stated that Mr. Liddell loved to fight and would not let someone get out of fighting him. She said, He’s been fighting people and beating people up since he was in Kindergarten,” further read the report.
The former couple have a hearing in the custody case in November, which could grant primary custody of the children to one or the other. In the filing, Liddell’s wife raised concerns about his mental well-being.
“When asked if she had any specific concerns about Mr. Liddell, with respect to his physical health, Ms. Liddell replied, ‘Yes, he’s been knocked out many times and has CTE. He can’t remember stuff and gets stuck on speech. He’s going to have dementia or Alzheimer’s. He has terrible sleep apnea.’”
“With regard to Mr. Liddell’s mental health, Ms. Liddell expressed concern regarding Mr. Liddell’s depression, his constantly needing to escape through drugs and alcohol, and his impulsivity,” the report read.
After conducting interviews with both Liddell and his wife, the report reached a conclusion. “It is recommended that the parents continue to share equally and jointly, both legal and physical custody of the children,” the document stated.
The recommendation for joint custody was accompanied with a stipulation. Either party can request a random drug test of the other.
“Given these parents’ history of substance use, it is recommended that the Court order both parents to remain free of the influence of illicit drugs and alcohol during their respective custodial periods. To facilitate this requirement, both parents should be permitted to request that the other parent participates in random drug and alcohol testing.”