Mrs. McNair didn’t know about affair

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This June 28, 2001 file photo shows Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair and his wife, Mechelle, smiling during a news conference in Nashville, Tenn.
(AP Photo/Christopher Berkey)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An associate said Wednesday that the wife of ex-NFL quarterback Steve McNair didn’t know about Sahel Kazemi before the 20-year-old woman was found dead alongside her husband on the Fourth of July.

McNair, 36, was shot four times in what the medical examiner said is very likely a murder-suicide, though police haven’t confirmed that Kazemi was responsible.

Mike Mu, who has worked with McNair’s charitable foundation for years, said Mechelle McNair “didn’t know who this girl is.”

Mechelle McNair, who has not spoken publicly since the shooting, has been described by people close to her as being very upset and distraught. Agent Bus Cook said McNair’s wife was “in and out” of it in the hours after the shooting.

Nashville’s assistant medical examiner said Wednesday that gunpowder residue was found on Kazemi’s hands, moving authorities to “95 percent” certainty that she killed McNair and herself. But Feng Li, who performed autopsies on both bodies, stopped short of confirming the murder-suicide, pending ballistics tests and toxicologies.

Nashville’s police chief scheduled a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

Kazemi’s family told reporters that the woman was so confident McNair was divorcing his wife of 12 years that she was preparing to sell her furniture and move in with the former quarterback.

Mu is handling media inquiries for Thursday night’s memorial service in Nashville. A funeral service will be held Saturday in Mississippi.

The close friend who reported McNair’s death to 911 defended his friend since their days playing football at Alcorn State to The Tennessean. Robert Gaddy, who did not immediately return a text message to his cell phone from The Associated Press on Wednesday, said the the McNairs’ Nashville home was on the market because they were looking for a new house.

“People need to quit talking about what they don’t know. Mac never said anything to me about he was going to get a divorce, and ever since this has all happened everybody is trying to paint a certain picture and they need to talk about what they know,” Gaddy told newspaper.

The four-time Pro Bowl quarterback was being remembered Wednesday at the stadium where he played much of his career. The Tennessee Titans opened LP Field for fans to watch video highlights of McNair’s 13-year NFL career, look at photos of the quarterback and had a book for them to write messages that will be given to the family.

The McNairs married in 1997, and Mechelle is the mother of two of his four sons. She met McNair while both were students at Alcorn State, though she also studied nursing in Nashville and became a nurse while he played for the Titans.

Mechelle McNair tended his numerous injuries at home, changing bandages and even helping with intravenous fluids in 2001 when her husband needed I.V. antibiotics for an infection that developed after shoulder surgery.

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