Former NFLer Tuaolo took charges to heart

  • Article by: C.J. , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 28, 2011 - 1:40 PM

All charges have been dismissed in Ramsey County against Esera Tuaolo stemming from a June 2010 ruckus between the former NFLer and his boyfriend, a hospital employee and an amateur baseball player.

"It was just a misunderstanding. I love Esera," Aaron Thompson told me Monday. Thompson's name was withheld when I broke this story last year because some members of his family did not know he was gay. Withholding Thompson's name created confusion when some immediately jumped to the conclusion that the alleged victim was Tuaolo's former partner, the businessman with whom Esera is raising twins.

I asked Thompson, who plays for Stockmen's Irish Baseball, how authorities wound up in the middle of their disagreement in Vadnais Heights.

"My sister called them," said Thompson.

The men, who have been together almost four years, continued their relationship as this matter crawled through the courts. They marched together in Sunday's Minneapolis Pride parade.

Tuaolo's attorney, Allan Caplan, said his client "was originally charged with assault in the fifth degree, domestic assault and disorderly conduct. The whole case was wrapped up last week."

Tuaolo's interests as a singer are represented by Caplan's ex-wife, entertainment attorney Parrel Caplan.

Tuaolo seems to have belatedly realized that, "When you're in the public eye, it kind of multiplies" the number of people who notice an issue. "When something like this happens, you have to take a look at yourself and the situation, even though you don't agree with it. You can find a message in everything, a [way] to better yourself," Tuaolo said.

"I went to anger management -- but it wasn't court-ordered -- because I wanted to understand it, that whole [mind-set] of the NFL player, violence and all of that. I wanted to make sure I covered all bases. After all the things I have done and learned, something like this will never happen again, I'll tell you this."

While these charges were hanging over his head, Tuaolo said he sensed some distance from people with whom he had contact when speaking as an advocate against homophobia.

"People looked at me with daggers [in their eyes]. I lost some jobs. But I totally understand," Tuaolo said. "I am so relieved that it's over. It's been a long year. We're going strong. Aaron's an amazing guy."

KARE11 weather shakeup?

Word has it that Sven may regain his weekends.

A KARE11 e-mail reportedly went out on Monday announcing changes in the station's weather front in an effort to provide even more weather coverage of Minnesotans' favorite avocation.

Meteorological heartthrob Sven Sundgaard is reportedly leaving weekends for the Monday-Friday mornings on "KARE11 Sunrise." That's the early-to-bed shift! That might be difficult for some young single guys, but Svenny will no doubt make the necessary adjustments.

Jonathan Yuhas is reportedly shifting from "Sunrise" to do what sounds like storm- and weather-chasing for KARE11.com and TV.

Jerrid Sebesta, up-and-coming heartthrob (with wife and child), is replacing Sundgaard on weekends.

It looks as though chief meteorologist Belinda Jensen will mostly likely continue working the days and shows she currently does.

It's unclear what effect early-morning work hours might have on Sven's schedule for jogging his sculpted physique around the lakes. But if he's off weekends, that probably means his fans will have more chances to see him around town.

Minnesota proud

It doesn't take much to imagine Deshaun Jackson's maroon and gold Chevy rolling ahead of the U's band in the July 20 Aquatennial Torchlight Parade.

Jackson's 1993 Caprice, decorated as a rolling monument to University of Minnesota sports, looks like something a crazed Alabama or Auburn fan might have created. As you can see from my startribune.com/video, crazed is not an emotional gear within Jackson, who seemed like a mighty laid-back fellow during our chance encounter on Friday outside the Mall of America.

Jackson, a warehouse worker, said he bought the car a couple of years ago and has been working on it ever since to bring it to its current level of maroon-and-goldness, achieved within the last couple of months when he topped it off with the flags.

"That's just crazy," Jackson said in describing the reaction he usually gets from other motorists.

The vehicle also includes a subtle memorial on the trunk to his brother, Phelandis Jackson, 29, who was killed in a drive-by shooting while standing outside Red Dragon Restaurant and Lounge on June 12, 2010.

C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or cj@startribune.com. E-mailers, please state a subject -- "Hello" doesn't count. More of her attitude can be seen on FOX 9 Thursday mornings.

  • CASE OVER

    "You can find a message in everything," says Esera Tuaolo of the dismissed charges.

    SUNRISE SVEN

    KARE11's hunky Sven Sundgaard will be pulling the early-morning weather gig, according to a staff memo.

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