FORT WORTH, Texas — Carl Edwards said he “absolutely” disputes claims by Olympic swimmer Amanda Beard that the NASCAR driver was controlling and jealous during their yearlong relationship.
Edwards said Friday he was surprised by what his former girlfriend wrote in her 256-page memoir, including about a dozen pages about their time together.
“I don’t know if I’m supposed to talk about the psychology of feelings and opinions when you have a relationship that doesn’t work out, or if I’m supposed to talk about the strategies to sell books, or whatever,” he said. “It’s just weird. I don’t even know how to address things that I don’t even remember happening, so that’s tough.”
Beard’s book, “In the Water They Can’t See You Cry,” was released last week when there were no NASCAR races.
Beard, who became an Olympic gold medalist at 14, writes that she is now finally at peace as a happily married and proud mom. She wrote about years of struggling with depression, bulimia, drug abuse and toxic relationships before that.
“I didn’t even realize that she had all those problems,” Edwards said. “The hard part for me is to even talk about it because it just really caught me off guard. It’s kind of sad in a way for me to read that. It made me feel a little bit sad for Amanda that she was going through all of that.”
When someone told him “a long time ago” that Beard was going to write a book, Edwards said he thought, “Good for her, that’s awesome.”
He said any correspondence between the two since breaking up in 2006 had been good and that he considered them friends.
“I’m not going to bash her, I’m not going to say bad things about her because I didn’t know all that stuff was going on,” Edwards said.
Like Beard, Edwards has since married, in 2009 to Dr. Kate Downey. They have a 2-year daughter and 11-month-old son.
The 30-year-old swimmer who won seven Olympic medals is married to photographer Sacha Brown. They have a 2-year-old son.
“She’s a mother, she’s a wife, she’s someone that I cared about,” Edwards said. “Down the road, if she ever needs something from me, she’s got it.”
TRUEX JR. WINS POLE: Martin Truex Jr. is on the pole in Texas, followed directly by two drivers from the Roush Fenway team that has had so much success here.
Truex had a qualifying lap Friday of 190.369 mph in his Michael Waltrip-owned Toyota. His seventh career pole is his second at Texas, where he finished third five years ago.
Matt Kenseth starts second Saturday night in his Roush Ford, just ahead of teammate and series points leader Greg Biffle.
Jack Roush has won eight of 22 Cup races at Texas.
Mark Martin qualified fourth, followed by Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman, Marcus Ambrose, Brad Keselowski, Jamie McMurray and Jimmie Johnson.
Kahne and Johnson are the top qualifiers for Rick Hendrick, who is looking for his 200th career win as an owner.