Michael Strahan and ex-wife Jean Muggli Strahan share 15-year-old twin daughters Sophia and Isabella

By Natalie Stone
March 11, 2020 05:54 PM
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Michael Strahan is accusing ex-wife Jean Muggli Strahan of physically and emotionally abusing their daughters.

According to court documents obtained by TMZ, Michael, 48, is requesting that Jean be stripped of primary custody of 15-year-old fraternal twins Sophia and Isabella, and that he be granted primary custody.

In the documents, Michael alleges that Jean, to whom he was married from 1999–2006, has been engaging in a “pattern of abusive conduct towards the children for years.” The Good Morning America host also claims that he has proof of the emotional and physical abuse, which he says he will detail in sealed documents, the outlet reports.

He goes on to claim that Jean is not taking their daughters to court-ordered therapy sessions, according to the documents, and says his ex is the reason their girls are missing sporting events.

Michael Strahan and ex-wife Jean
Michael Strahan and Jean Muggli Strahan
| Credit: James Devaney/WireImage

Michael has visitation rights, but he wants his daughters to move to New York and live with him. He also wants Jean to be held in civil and criminal contempt for her alleged behavior, the outlet reports. Michael is asking that Jean, who resides in North Carolina with Sophia and Isabella, only be given the visitation rights he currently has.

PEOPLE is out to Michael’s reps for comment. A rep for Jean could not be reached.

In 2016, Michael opened up to PEOPLE about life with his four kids: adult children Tanita and Michael Jr., whom he shares with ex-wife Wanda Hutchins, and Sophia and Isabella.

“My kids give me strength,” he said. “I love being with the kids. To me it’s all about family, now more than anything.”

Though Michael Jr. and Tanita were raised apart from Sophia and Isabella, all four are “very close, and I’m proud of that,” he said. “You worry how the kids will mix and blend, but brothers and sisters are brothers and sisters regardless of different mothers.”

With his two youngest children splitting their time between North Carolina and North Dakota, Michael said, “The twins live a crazy life. One time they flew out to D.C. and interviewed the first lady for GMA.”

Michael Strahan and daughters Sophia and Isabella
Michael Strahan with daughters Sophia and Isabella

“Then the next day their mom was sending me a video of them riding horses and splashing around in a muddy corn field,” he said.

And despite his split from Jean, Michael didn’t let it get in the way of his relationship with the twins.

“It wasn’t like, ‘Okay, we split, now I’m gonna write a check and send it to your mom every month, and Daddy will see you down the road,’ ” he said. “I’m not operating like that. Getting divorced is probably one of the toughest things I’ve ever gone through, but I learned a lot about myself.”

“When you’re a single father with 4-month-old kids, and you gotta be with them all the time, it taught me that there’s nothing to be afraid of,” he added. “I can do it. I look back on that as one of the most fulfilling times of my life. And I look at my kids now and it makes me happy because I know it paid off in my relationship with them. ”