Leury Escobar is Gabriela's mother. This young lady lives in Panamá and is the daughter of Sandra Taveras and Omar Moreno who was a bigleaguer from 1975 to 1986, playing his best years with the Pittsburgh Pirates, stealing 96 bases in 1980 and winning the World Series in 1979. He was part of that magical Pirates team known as 'The Family'.
Ironically, that same word "family" has been both torture and peace for Leury, who told Fanáticos.com her story from her parents' home in Panama City. She talked about everything that has happened to her since first meeting Alcides Escobar, the young baseball prospect who's highly touted as the shortstop of the future by the Milwaukee Brewers.
Gabriela lives with her mother Leury in her grandparents' home. The pure love and affection she gets from them is evident and, much different from what she receives from her biological father, Alcides Escobar, who "has seen her only once for a few minutes," according to Leury. Fanáticos.com the Spanish-language sports blogging site, went to Panama to hear first hand from Leury Escobar, who presents compelling evidence to support her case. Fanáticos.com. At the time of publication of the original Spanish-language story, Alcides Escobar couldn't be contacted. Fanáticos.com reached out to the Milwaukee Brewers as well as to his team in Venezuela, Cardenales de Lara, but neither entity was able to help contacting Escobar. Escobar joined the Lara team on Tuesday October 28th., and said he may start to play by Sunday.
Paul Kinzer, Alcides Escobar's legal representative, was contacted and said to Fanáticos.com: "He (Alcides Escobar) doesn't want to talk about that. She (Leury Escobar) has an agenda. She's been talking to the media. She's been talking a lot of trash. First I get a call from another guy and now you call me... Just be careful (with) what you write." Kinzer also referred us to another attorney, Jay Reisinger, who still has not responded to emails or calls.
Leury, Alcides and Gabriela... "Everything just switched"...
"I married Alcides Escobar. I'm still married to him," says Leury, who showed us proof with licenses, certificates and more paperwork, all stamped and duly signed. "We have a daughter and when I was six months pregnant he (Alcides Escobar) went to Venezuela to play winter ball and then abandoned us. He completely abandoned us. And the reason why I want to tell my story is not for me, because I know that I am neither the first nor the last wife that's being left by the husband. But for my daughter, because he has not taken responsibility for her. It's just not right."
Alcides Escobar went to play winter baseball with Cardenales de Lara in Venezuela around October 2008. According to Leury that's when everything changed.
"I was going to go to Venezuela with him, but they had a problem with the government and Hugo Chávez I think. I was pretty much advised not to go to Venezuela. Especially being five months pregnant," said Leury, who was born and raised in the United States, where she earned college degrees in Fashion Design and Fashion Marketing. "When he went to Venezuela, everything just kind of switched. It went from living happily to non existent. Usually, during that time, it was his mistress calling me, insulting me... I started getting pictures via email of his mistress and she started texting me and calling me. He started calling me and telling me he didn't want to be with me because I was fat and he had found someone better... Just so many things. It was emotionally abusive, as at the time I was pregnant and these things started escalating."
Speaking to Fanáticos.com, Leury's father Omar Moreno, who is also the Sports Secretary of Panama, said: "I suggested her not to go to Venezuela, I told her: 'You decide, but with everything that's happening there, and being seven months pregnant, I'd suggest you come and stay here in Panama.' But he (Alcides Escobar) never came to Panama. He just left her here."
Gabriela Escobar is born... Alcides Escobar financial response...
Gabriella Michaelle Escobar was born six weeks prematurely, on December 11th. 2008. Leury gave birth to Gabriella with an emergency C-Section, blaming it all on all the stress and pressure she suffered through her pregnancy. If she had to give names to her suffering it would be Alcides Escobar and Yaritsa Bolívar, whom she names as Alcides' mistress.
"She was born here in Panama. She's a born abroad US Citizen", says Leury. "She's pretty much had no contact with Alcides. He's seen her once. He saw her in May of 2009 when he made us go to the United States to try and trick me into a convenient divorce for him."
Leury Escobar has legal and official documents that state that Alcides Escobar is the father of her daughter. She even had to turn in an affidavit to the US Embassy in Panama, swearing that Alcides Escobar is the father of Gabriela Michaelle.
Alcides Escobar is still a rookie in the Major Leagues. The Majors' minimum salary in 2009 was $390,000 and will be $400,000 in 2010. What the player makes depend on how many days he stays in the big team, less various deductions such as taxes, agents, insurance and more. According to Leury, Alcides made about $30,000 a month at some point in 2009.
"When I came here (to Panama) he gave me $3,000", says Leury Escobar. "That money was to buy a bedroom set and for anything else I needed. I had a credit card also with $2,000. With that I bought a ticket for his mother to come visit Panama. He then gave $1,000 for me to travel with Gabriela when he tricked me into getting a divorce. After that, when the divorce attempt was dismissed, I get an email with the subject 'Requested Child Support for Gabriela Escobar'. I thought that was very weird because we never discussed child support in court. It never got that far. I had filed a motion to dismiss the divorce proceedings and they filled it in. According to what I've heard from his family, his lawyer set up that amount. There's no justification for it. It pretty much is a number that they made up out of the blue. I don't know how his lawyer came up with that number, if she's the one responsible for it. According to what I think, in the United States, for someone who's making $30,000 a month, $700 is not... It's pretty much the lowest child support in history".
"I want a DNA test"
"I want a DNA test!", says Leury almost jumping out the couch. "I've asked him for a DNA test. I've asked his lawyers that I will be more than glad to give him a DNA test. My conscience is very clear. I know who is Gabriela's father. I know who it is, I know it's him and his family know it's him because even though he denies it, he doesn't deny it to his family. His mother and father, his cousins, everybody knows that she looks just like his side of the family. So I don't have a problem with a DNA test. I want a DNA test!".
What Leury Escobar also wants...
Leury Escobar, the former Leury Moreno, went to college and was starting to blossom in her chosen career as a fashion designer in South Florida. Before meeting Alcides Escobar, she recounts having a good life. She worked in her "dream job", had a car and lived comfortably in a rented apartment. She also didn't have the responsibilities that come with motherhood and didn't depend on her parents. She met Alcides Escobar and heard all the promises of a better life that have since faded away.
"All I want is for my daughter to be supported the way she's supposed to be. Many people are trying to say 'yeah, I'm out there trying to destroy his reputation'. I'm not destroying his reputation, he did that on his own," says Leury. "I'm not here -like everyone says- to destroy Alcides, because I very well know that if Alcides does well, so does my daughter. Obviously he needs to give her child support. What I want is for him to support his daughter. For him to give her the life that she deserves. For him to get her a house where she lives. Not me living off my parents. People may say 'oh she wants to take half his money', but we weren't together for that long. Courts are not going to give me half of his money, I don't need his money. I'm a hard worker, I've worked before, I'm not afraid of working and I intend to do that. All I want is for him to support his daughter, that's it."
Omar Moreno's words reinforce those of his daughter: "I don't want to jump over to what could happen. He can run as much as he wants, but the time will come. We're preparing ourselves. This will go to court. He needs to get ready. He can have 500 lawyers, but he needs to know that the laws in the United States are not the Venezuelan laws. We'll wait. He has to support his child. That's his daughter".