February 12, 1976
Mableton, Georgia, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Paul Dejongh (1994–1999)
Kris Benson (1999–2012)
|Height||5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)|
Anna Benson was born outside of Atlanta, Georgia on February 12, 1976. Benson dropped out of school following her sophomore year of high school and left home when she was sixteen. About that time, she says, "I was a dancer in the Atlanta strip clubs. [...] I had a baby and then a husband when I was seventeen"; they subsequently divorced.
In 1996 Anna Benson (then Anna Warren) was charged with murder when 18 year old Michael Evans was executed in her Tennessee apartment. Police found Benson's apartment covered in satanic anti-police graffiti, but Benson and her boyfriend had already fled in a stolen vehicle. The national manhunt for the suspects was featured on America's Most Wanted. Witnesses said that Anna told her then boyfriend to "get rid of" Evans. The murder charges were eventually dropped, prompting the victim's father to state that "she got away with murder ... I don’t know how she can live with herself knowing that she conspired to kill my son.”
In 1998, she met her future husband, Kris Benson, while she was dancing at the Mardi Gras, a strip club in Atlanta; he was playing for the Nashville Sounds in the minor leagues. They had attended rival high schools in Georgia, but had never gotten to know one another prior to this meeting. She and Kris were married in October 1999—her second marriage, his first. As she described it, "when I came to Kris, I had nothing—two pairs of panties and one bra; suddenly, I found I was married to a millionaire". The Bensons were soon labeled "baseball's most incongruous couple," with Anna having "diverted attention" from a star pitcher who "often fades into the periphery." Anna filed for divorce on March 31, 2006, citing an "irretrievably broken" marriage. She later withdrew the petition, and subsequently had another child with Kris. Altogether, they had four children: her daughter Alyssa from a previous marriage, their daughter Haylee, and sons P.J. (from "Paul James") and Devin.
Benson's daughter claims that Benson threatened her with a gun in 2009.
Sometime around July 19, 2012, Kris served Anna with divorce papers. She was arrested on July 8, 2013 after allegedly threatening Kris at his home with a gun and metal baton while wearing a bulletproof vest. She was charged with assault and criminal trespassing. She pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and weapons charges on 5 November 2013 in Marietta, Georgia, and was sentenced to 15 years probation.
On July 30, 2004, the Pirates traded Kris Benson to the New York Mets. In November 2004, Benson posed for the cover and a spread in FHM magazine and was named "baseball's hottest wife." In an interview with Howard Stern later that year, she vowed that if her husband ever cheated on her she would take revenge by sleeping with the entire Mets organization. Benson later explained the comment as "stupid humor to be understood by these idiots who take everything so literally." In July 2005, she began playing at the 2005 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. She was ejected for excessive cursing.
The New York Times, having previously noted Anna Benson's "calculated outrageousness," wrote that "in her one year in New York, Anna Benson drove the Mets to distraction." Sports reporter Murray Chass wrote of the Mets–Orioles trade, "Kris Benson doesn't have a good enough arm for the Mets to overlook his wife's mouth. ... And by trading Anna Benson, the Mets may have achieved what [former Yankees manager] Casey Stengel called addition by subtraction." Kris Benson himself later said that he felt New York traded him to Baltimore because of his wife, but Omar Minaya, general manager of the Mets, ultimately discounted speculation that her behavior had played a role, saying, "We just made a baseball trade." Mirroring Chass' linkage of the Bensons, Sports Illustrated opined that Anna Benson's "outlandish antics" had ultimately come to overshadow her husband's "few good years" in the major leagues.
Benson has worked with charitable organizations over the years such as the Pittsburgh Children's Hospital, Salvation Army and American Red Cross. The couple has a non-profit charity called Benson's Battalion that helped area police forces in the cities where her husband played.
Radio and publication
Benson has been featured in several publications, including FHM, Sports Illustrated, The New Yorker and on the cover of The Sporting News. In New York, she was featured in the New York Post Page 6 and Daily News. Benson also appeared on the radio during the Dan Patrick Show.
|2006||The O'Reilly Factor||Guest|
|2006||The Neil Cavuto Show||Guest|
|2005||Fabulous Life Of...: Celebrity Wives||Guest|
|2005||Best Damn Sports Show Period: Episode||Guest|
|2005||Donny Deutsch Show||Guest|
|2004||My Coolest Years: My First Time||Guest|
|2011||Baseball Wives - VH1 (Network)||Herself|
|2013||Dr. Phil (TV series)||Guest|
- Lillian Ross (June 6, 2005), "Thy Pitcher's Wife"
- "Anna Benson reportedly implicated in 1996 Tennessee murder". FoxNews.com. 15 July 2013.
- "Anna Benson Was Once Charged With Murder". DeadSpin. 14 July 2013.
- "Anna Benson, the hot 'Baseball Wives' star, once implicated in a murder". Daily News. 14 July 2013.
- Jason McIntyre (18 January 2005). "Anna Benson pitches her own series". Page 3. ESPN.com.
- Ben Shpigel (15 December 2005). "Anna Benson Stands by Her Man, and Then Some". The New York Times.
- "Baseball Wife Anna Benson Files for Divorce". FoxNews.com. 31 March 2005.
- "Benson pleads guilty to assaulting retired MLB player". The Marrietta Daily Journal. November 2013.
- "'Baseball Wife' Anna Benson arrested for pulling gun on husband, reports say". FoxNews.com. Fox News Network. 2013-07-09. Retrieved 2013-07-09.
- Red, Christian (5 November 2013). "Anna Benson sentenced to 15 years’ probation in connection with attack on Kris Benson". New York Daily News. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
- Josh Levin (3 February 2010). "Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Teammate's Wife, The locker room affair, the biggest taboo in sports". Slate Magazine.
- "Sign of the Apocalypse". Scorecard Daily. SI.com. 12 July 2005.
- "Say It Ain't So: Anna Benson to Divorce Kris". The New York Times. 21 March 2006.
- Murray Chas (23 January 2006). "A Wife Trade by Any Other Name". The New York Times.
- "Anna Benson drops divorce petition". ESPN.com. 4 April 2006.
- Ben Sphigel (22 January 2006). "Benson Sent to Baltimore for 2 Pitchers". The New York Times.
- "No. 1 MLB Draft Picks Since 1985: Kris Benson, 1996, Pittsburgh Pirates". SI.com Photos.
- O'Reilly Factor
- The First Time & Fabulous Life Of Celebrity Wives
- Cold Pizza Best Damn Sports Show
- Baseball Wives at the Internet Movie Database
- Dr. Phil (November 27, 2013) "Inside the Baseball Wife’s Assault on Her Pitcher Husband"