Tennis umpire Lois Goodman, once accused of fatally bludgeoning her 80-year-old husband with a coffee cup, told the "Today" show Tuesday that while she is grateful to her attorneys, her life will never be the same.
Goodman, who is working as a umpire at the U.S. Open in New York this week -- the same event where she was arrested last year -- told host Matt Lauer that she "was thrilled to be invited back to work, it meant everything to me."
But Goodman said she has noticed a difference in how some people treat her.
"They say things behind my back. I am not getting the jobs I use to get," she told Lauer in an interview during which she was accompanied by one of her attorneys, Alison Tressl.
Goodman is suing the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County coroner, alleging false arrest and malicious prosecution.
The criminal charges against Goodman, 70, of Woodland Hills were dismissed last November after it was determined that her DNA wasn't on the alleged weapon and prosecutors decided there was insufficient evidence to proceed.
Goodman on Tuesday blamed the LAPD detective on the case, noting the nature of her arrest last year.
"I think the detective had an agenda and saw an opportunity to get in the news," she said.
In the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Goodman alleges that she suffered "public humiliation after she was falsely arrested by LAPD detectives at the U.S. Open in New York as she was about to travel to the tour stadium in her tournament uniform."
LAPD officials and prosecutors alleged that Goodman in April 2012 attacked her husband of 49 years at their Woodland Hills home and then went out to a game and got a manicure. They said he climbed the stairs to their bed, where she later found him dead.
The LAPD declined to comment on the lawsuit, citing a policy of not discussing pending litigation. The investigation into the death of Alan Goodman remains open.
Goodman, who worked at the highest level in U.S. tennis, was initially taken to New York's Rikers Island jail complex before spending two weeks in Los Angeles County's Century Regional Detention Center.
She was eventually released on electronic monitoring before the district attorney's office dropped the charges.
"Mrs. Goodman was not only innocent, there was no crime. Her husband was not murdered. He fell down the stairs and hit his head on a coffee cup," one of her attorneys, Robert Sheahen, said recently.
"No sane detective could have concluded this was a homicide," he said. "The DNA was not on the coffee cup. There was no blood spatter on the walls."
Sheahen added, "The LAPD detectives went on national TV to destroy this poor grandmother's reputation and to see her languish in a Dickensian cell at Rikers Island. Now the LAPD will have to explain this in court."
Goodman has since returned to her position with the U.S. Tennis Assn. In the lawsuit, Goodman alleges that the police and others suggested she was having an affair as a potential motivation, but that they they knew it was untrue.
Initially, the LAPD had considered the death of Goodman's husband on April 12 as "accident/head injury" after she came home to find him dead in the bedroom.
But on April 20, an autopsy by the coroner found 17 small cuts "inconsistent with a fall." The lawsuit alleges that the coroner should have known those head injuries were not fatal.
The suit alleges that detectives became transfixed with Goodman's perceived lack of emotion in the aftermath of the death, and that they conducted numerous searches of her home and interviews of her friends, family members and others.
The suit alleges that detectives should have known Goodman was physically incapable of hitting her husband and then carrying his 170-pound body up the stairs.
They also should have known, the suit alleges, that there was no blood spatter on the landing at the top of the stairs, which would have supported their theory she hit her husband with the cup at that location.
The suit names several officials, including LAPD Capt. Kris Pitcher, Dets. David Peteque, Jeffrey Briscoe and Nick Pikor and medical examiner Yulai Wang.
"There are whispers and pointed fingers wherever she goes," the suit alleges. "Her professional reputation has suffered immeasurably."
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