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    Knievel ordered to leave ex alone

    Living in a motor home, the retired daredevil appears for a domestic violence hearing.

    By ALICIA CALDWELL, Times Staff Writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published February 21, 2002


    LARGO -- He made a career of bending rules of gravity and common sense.

    But on Wednesday, a judge made clear he was to follow this one: Stay away from your ex-wife.

    Renowned daredevil Evel Knievel, ever splashy in diamond-studded pinky ring and shades, was trailed by autograph seekers as he left the Pinellas County courtroom after his domestic violence hearing.

    Divorced two months ago from Krystal Kennedy-Knievel, 32, he was accused of hitting her and making repeated threatening phone calls.

    "He initially would leave flowers and cards at the door and on my car but once he understood we were not going to reconcile (I made it very clear I wished for him to leave me alone), he turned very angry," Kennedy-Knievel, of Clearwater, wrote in her Feb. 12 request for an injunction.

    Knievel, who in turn filed his own request for an injunction, accused his ex-wife of packing a gun and making threats toward him. After the hearing, he said he was glad to be rid of her.

    "There's just some things a man can't live with," said Knievel, 63, who is living temporarily in a motor home parked off Roosevelt Boulevard in Clearwater. "Any way you look at it, it's a sad situation. I came here with a broken heart."

    Along with the permanent injunction imposed against Knievel by Pinellas County Judge Amy Williams, Kennedy-Knievel was ordered to stay away from her ex-husband for four years.

    The couple separated in July after almost two years of marriage and Kennedy-Knievel moved to the Feather Sound subdivision. Knievel, who listed his occupation in court papers as "retired daredevil," followed her to Florida to attempt to win her back. While he has lived in Tampa in the past, his home, he said, is in Las Vegas.

    Knievel said he had bouts of moodiness since his 1999 liver transplant, ascribing his bad attitude to the medications he had to take.

    Despite numerous concussions, broken bones and other injuries over the years from his notorious motorcycle jumps -- including leaps over the Snake River Canyon and an attempt to clear the Caesars Palace fountains -- Knievel said he hasn't given up the pursuit.

    He said he planned to go back to Nevada and begin training for what he says is a final jump. Knievel said he had asked his ex-wife to forgive him, but he was not about to put up with what he testified were her infidelities.

    "She's lucky I didn't hit her," he said. "I never want to see her again."

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