DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – On Thursday, Deion and Pilar Sanders will face each other in court for the first time since her arrest last week. Their messy split has been playing out in the public eye — both in the media and on social networking websites. But a friend of the Sanders family wanted to set the record straight about the couple’s ugly divorce.

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Omar Jahwar has been close pals with Deion Sanders for more than a decade, and has also helped Pilar Sanders with her nonprofit. Having heard both sides of the story, he has one clear message for the couple. “Stop,” Jahwar said. “You got to stop!”

Between Deion’s infamous tweet showing his kids filing a police report to Pilar’s tearful press conference, Jahwar hates seeing his friends airing their dirty laundry for the world to see. “They are good people fundamentally,” he said. “So, to have this as their legacy is sick. And I’m personally tired of that.”

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The break-up began amicably, Jahwar said, but boiled over because of tensions about their three children. “It’s Pilar saying ‘I want to see my son’ and Deion saying ‘You can see him with me because I don’t want any funny business.'” Stuck in the role of referee, Jahwar hopes that he will be able to convince both sides to start talking, face-to-face, for the sake of the kids.

Jahwar said that he is concerned about the influence that lawyers, family members and other outsiders may be having on the couple. “I’m afraid it’s going to turn into a tragedy,” he said. “For real.”

Deion and Pilar are both very worried about their public images, Jahwar said, and that may cause them to exaggerate things in their favor at times. But, he added, the truth about the situation — as is usually the case — can be found somewhere in the middle of the two sides.

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