Couples' ex-wife commits suicide

Body found below 70 foot parapet

Special correspondent
Mon, 4 Jun 2001

Couples' ex-wife commits suicide

Debbie Couples, the former wife of major champion Fred Couples has been found dead following a 70-foot fall from the seventh floor of a chapel in Los Angeles.

The coroner's office in Claremont are still investigating the death but reports suggest it was suicide.

Mrs Couples (43) met her husband when the two were students at Houston University where she was an aspiring tennis player and he was on the golf team. She had planned to turn professional but decided to accompany him on his successful career as a tournament pro.

She was a lively companion when he won the US Masters in 1992 with a penchant for outrageous sparkling outfits and hats. She rushed to congratulate him in a shocking pink suit.

When the couple divorced in 1993, a Florida court ordered Couples to pay his former wife more than $600,000 a year in alimony. An appeals court later reduced it by about half.

Couples, who has since re-married, has two step-children and lives in Santa Barbara, California. He was competing at the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio but refused to comment.