Dean Spanos’ sister sues her, accusing her of ‘anti-women’ behavior as the legal battle for control of the Los Angeles Chargers continues

Dean Spanos, owner of Los Angeles Chargers, has been charged with “misogynistic”, “self-deprecating” behavior and repeated “breach of honesty” by his sister in a lawsuit that escalates the ongoing legal battle between siblings for control of the team.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in San Joaquin County Superior Court by attorneys representing Dea Spanos Berberian, who seeks sole control of the family fund that makes up more than a third of the Chargers’ ownership. The lawsuit also asks the court to suspend and remove Spanos as co-custodian and seeks unspecified monetary damages awarded to the Berberian.

Spanos, Berberians, and their siblings Michael Spanos and Alexandra Spanos Ruhl own 15% of the Chargers franchise, with 36% managed by a family trust and the remaining 4% owned by non-family members.

Spanos and Berberian were left as co-custodians of the Trust after Alex and Faye Spanos died in 2018.

Berberian accuses brothers Dean and Michael of repeatedly acting “out of their well-established misogynistic attitudes and sense of entitlement as men in the family…and in order to justify their pathetic behavior which she believes is intended to teach her that a woman has no trust no matter what any instrument of trust might say.” The lawsuit also states that Dean and Michael “voicely believe that no matter what their parents mean and will, men are responsible and women should shut up.”

Berberian claims that the Spanos family trust and all subsidiary documents are insolvent, that Spanos’ decision to move the Chargers to Los Angeles has proven financially ruinous and that the family has no choice but to sell the team to meet the trust’s debt obligations, which are currently said to be over $358 million.

The lawsuit also lists multiple allegations of “violations of fiduciary duty” by Dean Spanos, who is accused of diverting $105 million from the trust into various debts. It is also alleged that Spanos manipulated the trust into borrowing more than $60 million “to purchase a wasteful aircraft for the use of Dean and Michael having no legitimate commercial justification.”

Berberian also accuses her brothers of conspiring with Stephen Cohen, Executive Vice President and COO of Spanos, to undermine the Berbers by “deliberately” harming their relationship with the Greek Orthodox Church’s pastor, Father Alex Karlotos.

Alex Spanos bought the San Diego Chargers in 1984, and Dean Spanos took over management of the franchise in 1994. The legal conflict surfaced in public opinion in April 2021, when the Berberian petitioned the Los Angeles County Superior Court to put the fund up for sale.

Berberian is represented by Adam Streisand, who also represented Jenny Boss when she wrested control of the Los Angeles Lakers from her siblings and Steve Ballmer in trial to force Donald Sterling to sell the Los Angeles Clippers.

Neither Berberian nor Streisand responded to ESPN’s requests for comment.

An attorney familiar with the matter told ESPN that Berberian’s motive for filing the lawsuit was to publicly embarrass Spanos. The attorney went on to say that Berberian’s three siblings, Dean, Michael and Alexis, had stood firm in opposing her in the past and that “today’s suit will receive the same reaction.”

The NFL declined to comment on the matter.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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