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Firing Line trainer’s estranged wife contacts ABC-7

ABC-7 has uncovered new information on English jockey Paul Eddery. He is an exercise rider who worked with Firing Line, the horse that won the Sunland Derby earlier this month.

Yesterday, we reported that immigration agents took Eddery into custody before he could board a flight out of El Paso.

His former attorney told us Eddery entered the U.S. on a visa waiver program and he was in the country after his permit expired. She said Eddery could stay in custody for months, jeopardizing his work with Firing Line ahead of the Kentucky Derby. Eddery is now awaiting deportation.

Charlotte Fitsall, Eddery’s estranged wife, tells ABC-7 Eddery cheated her out of thousands of dollars and hasn’t seen their 9-year-old son in years.

Fitsall, 47, called our newsroom from England. She said she’s Eddery’s second wife and he left her penniless when he came to the U.S. about three years ago.

“When I saw on the TV that he had been arrested and he lied and said he didn’t know why he’d been arrested. I knew he was an illegal immigrant out there,” Fitsall said.

Fitsall said Eddery was a successful jockey in England, and online media reports confirm it. Eddery was at the Sunland Derby on March 22 in footage ABC-7 got at the race. He quickly congratulated Firing Line’s jockey, Gary Stevens, for winning. Now he’s in detention with an uncertain future.

“Living in this uncertainty is just so unbearable. Sometimes I can’t wrap my head around that this is actually happening,” Eddery’s Los Angeles fiance, Kristin Sztyndor, said.

When ABC-7 asked her about Fitsall, she said Fitsall was being malicious. Fitsall said she’s just trying to get paid what she says she’s owed.

“I rang and rang and begged him. He wouldn’t disclose anything to me,” Fitsall said.

Multiple online media reports say Eddery has had legal battles with his brother, Pat, in England. Fitsall said the fallout is carrying out further than Eddery understands.

“My poor son. I’ve had parents ringing me because Kristin’s put it all over Facebook. So, he’s going to get taunted at school now over it,” Fitsall said. She said she has been married to Eddery since 2007 and has filed for divorce, but won’t finalize anything until she gets the money she says she’s owed.

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