The case of Adams, a suburban Philadelphia native now residing in Costa Mesa, Calif., vs. Boggs, one of baseball's brightest stars and the American League's leading hitter, is provoking more than the usual raised eyebrows and snide remarks that result from a sticky yet private affair. In fact, it could become the steamiest scandal in baseball history.
The disclosures have caused strong tensions in the Red Sox clubhouse and were responsible for a shouting and shoving incident between Boggs and teammates Dwight Evans and Rick Cerone June 19 in Cleveland. The Boggs affair - specifically, Adams's allegations on "Donahue" of photographs showing Red Sox players in compromising positions - was the hot topic at the All-Star Game this week. And yesterday, Boggs's agent, Alan Nero, compared Adams to Jessica Hahn and Donna Rice.
But the greatest fear and loathing are inspired by the prospects of the suit going to trial. The lawyer for Boggs told the Daily News she can prove that some of baseball's better-known players have had dalliances with Adams, and that those players would be subpoenaed if the case ever goes to trial.
"Wade wasn't the only man in her life," Jennifer King, an Anaheim, Calif., attorney handling Boggs's case, said of Adams. "It can be easily proved. I will subpoena other players who I know have had affairs with her, if I have to.
"People would be surprised at the number and quality of players she was able to get to."
Margo Adams, who says she is one month shy of her 33rd birthday, lived in suburban Bryn Mawr until moving to California at the age of 6. She is a half- sister of Pitt University football star Burt Grossman, as well as a cousin of former Temple and Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Randy Grossman.
During her adolescence, Adams said she went by Margo Harris (her deceased stepfather's surname). She worked for eight years as a candy striper and was crowned Miss Anaheim.
Adams said she was married at 18 to a policeman (that's where the Adams comes in) and divorced at 20. She currently is on a 2 1/2-month leave of absence from her job as a vice president with a mortgage brokerage firm.
Adams said she met Boggs in 1984, in a restaurant-bar not far from the California Angels' home park in Anaheim. She was not, she insisted, a baseball groupie on the prowl.
"It wasn't a sleazy bar," Adams said. "It's the type of place where they sing 'God Bless America' and confetti comes out of the ceiling. It was the first time I had gone there; I only went because my girlfriend wanted me to, and she promised me that the place had a kind of chocolate cake that I'd really like.
"In there, my girlfriend met somebody on the team (Red Sox) who was single. Then, the player asked her if she could bring over one of her friends (to meet Boggs)."
A relationship quickly blossomed, Adams said, and continued for approximately four years.
During that time, Adams said, she accompanied Boggs on about 65 road trips and spent a minimum of 241 days in his company.
It's all documented, she claimed. Included in the safety deposit box along with the hotel room keys, she said, are round-trip airline ticket stubs, rental-car receipts, "about 40" photos picturing Adams and Boggs together and "more photos of Red Sox players - some of them married - with other women.
"In another safety deposit box," added Adams, who claims that her primary hobby is photography, "I have all the negatives."
Boggs, who is married with two children, has admitted that he had a relationship with Adams. "I made a mistake in my life," he was quoted last month as saying, "and I'm sorry for it."
According to Adams, she last saw Boggs the weekend of April 22 to 24 in Milwaukee, where Boston was playing.
"There were two rainouts in that series, so we spent a lot of time together," Adams said. "When I came home, I started to ask myself, 'What am I doing? Why keep this going?' My eyes had become opened to the fact that a relationship with a married man is nothing more than a series of one-night stands followed by him getting rid of you (for someone else).
"About a week and a half later - I think they were in Kansas City - I called him and said, 'I've heard you've been fooling around with someone else.' He said, 'Who told you that?' I said, 'I'm not going to say until you tell me whether it's true.' He kept repeating, 'Who told you that?' I mean, all he wanted to know was who told me. Forget about my feelings, forget about the truth.
"The next morning, he called me at my office. He said he had something to tell me. I told him I didn't feel like talking with him anymore, that it was over. I told him I wanted $100,000 and that I would give him 90 days to get it to me. That way, he could do it little by little, so his wife wouldn't notice that so much money was missing.
"I said all I wanted was enough money to replenish my savings, and get myself on the way to a new start. He said, 'Why only $100,000?' I told him my vice president's salary for a year was about $35,000 and the $65,000 would cover the year's worth on an account that I had lost because of spending so much time with him."
"Then, there was dead silence. He didn't say anything. Usually, when that happened, I'd keep talking. But I didn't. Finally, he brought up the pictures of the other players. I said not to worry, that no one would ever see them. He said, 'Why don't you call everybody (involved) right now, try to get money out of them?' I said, 'I don't think that's very amusing. That's disgusting.' He said, 'I guess I better get the money.' I said, 'I guess you better.' "
Adams said that when she hung up the phone, she was under the impression that Boggs would indeed pay her $100,000.
The impression did not last long.
"For about 48 hours. Until the FBI came to my condominium," she said, laughing. "Oh, yeah. The FBI. I kind of thought they were actors at first. I mean, do you know what an authentic FBI badge looks like? For all I knew, they could have been Joe Schmo. When I realized they were real, I was sick.
"That Monday morning, I saw an attorney. The lawsuit was filed within 2 1/ 2 to 3 weeks.
"Ever since, my friends have been fearful for my safety. They're worried something's going to happen to me. If I don't answer the phone right away, they like freak out."
Jennifer King, Boggs's attorney, says she has plenty of ammuntion to use against Adams, and that Adams is aware what it is. "I know that she knows we are aware of the other ballplayers," King said. "In fact, she has already tried to contact one of them (to alert him of what's coming).
"We can prove that she gets around, that she likes ballplayers, has made it a career, so to speak, and this is the end of her career, so to speak. She doesn't look so good anymore. Poor Wade is the last man on her train, so to speak. And he is a good target."
When King's comments were relayed to Adams, she responded: "I must have been a busy, little girl, huh?
"I have two nieces, 2 years and 10 months. I have custody of them every other weekend. I've had a good, full-time job. I'm not some cocktail waitress . . .
"So, Wade's the caboose, huh? This is sick. That's sad.
"Tell her to keep making those kinds of statements, though. I'm keeping notes on everything. I'm expecting to write a book about this. She's going to sell a lot of copies for me."
In four years as Boggs's paramour, Adams said she didn't just accompany the four-time American League batting champion only on regular-season trips. She said she made wintertime trips with him to the Dominican Republic and to Chicago, and visited him at the team's spring training base in Winter Haven, Fla.
"When we'd check into a room," she said, "I'd take his clothes out of the suitcase, and put them into the closet. If necessary, I'd iron them.
"I was in love with that man. If you had seen my place . . . I had pictures of him everywhere. Some in every room. They're all down now."
Adams is incensed that Boggs, in the few specific comments he has made regarding Adams, has claimed the relationship died in years three and four.
"He claims in the papers that we had a relationship in the first two years, but after that I was just 'stalking' him," Adams said. "The only thing different about the relationship to me was that his personality had started to change with the money and fame.
"People wonder why the Red Sox were so upset. It's pretty clear to me. They had had it up to here with Wade denying that he even knew me. As long as he kept doing that, things were going to get worse and worse. The Red Sox all know it's true. They all know I traveled with him.
"The biggest farce of all this is, he gets to say anything he wants and people believe him because of who he is. Doesn't anybody wonder, 'Hey, what if she is telling the truth?'
"In the last month, it's amazing what I've been called by Wade and by the media. I went from 'a groupie' to 'a sick groupie' to 'a sick, obsessed groupie' to 'a sick, obsessed, gold-digging groupie' to 'an alleged mistress' to 'mistress' to 'alleged ex-girlfriend' to 'ex-girlfriend.' It's amazing how I've been elevated."
Adams then screeched to a halt, paused and asked a question of her own.
"Hey," she said, "want to hear my theory on what's wrong with Wade Boggs?
"My contention is . . . you know how he eats so much chicken? Well, chicken can cause salmonella poisoning. He is slowly becoming salmonella poisoned. All that chicken is affecting his brain."
Since news of Adams's suit broke June 3, much has happened. Consider:
* "Almost immediately thereafter," Adams said, she was approached by The Star and The National Enquirer to sell her story. She declined, but did grant ''an extensive interview" to People magazine. "They haven't told me why it hasn't been published yet," she said.
* On June 19, the incident with the Red Sox players broke out in Cleveland. An unidentified Boston player said the disturbance could be traced to the suit, and the fact that Adams had expressed plans to subpoena certain Red Sox players (the names of second baseman Marty Barrett, Evans and pitcher Jeff Sellers were mentioned).
* On June 22 in Cleveland, Boggs discussed the situation for the first time with reporters.
"This whole thing is my problem," he said, "and I have to deal with it. Me alone.
"Now other people are getting drug (sic) in the mud, and I'm extremely sorry for the guys on the team that they have to go through it. It's been hard on my family. And now, to turn around and see my teammates have to go through it, too, it's just bad.
"My marriage is sound. My wife's behind me 100 percent."
* On June 24, Boggs did an exclusive interview in Boston with sports anchor John Dennis of WNEV-TV, Channel 7, the city's CBS affiliate. In the interview, which opened a 5 p.m. newscast, Boggs said, "We're going to win this, whether it takes two years or five years."
When Dennis asked Boggs when he first suspected there would be trouble with Adams, Boggs shot back: "The first time I saw her."
The interview lasted almost 5 minutes before Boggs, near tears, terminated it.
* On July 1, King filed an action in Orange County (Calif.) Superior Court requesting that Adams's suit - $500,000 is for the loss of past and future wages, $5.5 million for punitive damages - be dismissed. A hearing is set for Aug. 12.
* On July 12, Adams appeared on "Donahue," televised live to New York and Boston, and said, "If some of the guys on the team (did) something that Wade didn't particularly like, or they were going to talk about what was going on, he devised a little thing called the 'Delta Force,' and what he did was make sure they were set up in a compromising position and he'd break into the (hotel) room and take pictures."
* Boggs's agent, Nero, yesterday told ESPN, "I think it is a sad commentary that society has put Jessica Hahn, Donna Rice and Margo Adams in celebrity status when we all know that her admitted behavior is nothing short of prostitution and extortion."
All the while, in the 5 1/2 weeks since the story broke, the Red Sox have served as something of a laughingstock. Across the country, baseball fans have been imagining what a circuslike atmosphere would prevail, and how many marriages would be threatened, if Margo Adams were to have her day in court.
Even in Canada the goings-on have elicited comment. Toronto Star columnist John Robertson seems to feel that Adams should be trying to hit Boggs for double the money. He wrote: "Anyone who can prove she actually spent four seasons on the road watching nothing but Red Sox games should be good for $12 million in damages for mental anguish, easily, even if she never went back to the hotel."
Still, despite all of that, a larger question remains. The Boston Globe attempted to answer that question June 7, less than a week after Adams slapped Boggs with the suit, when it ran a story headlined, "Can Adams Win $6 Million Suit?"
The paper quoted Len Lewin, a Boston-area attorney who specializes in divorce law, as saying, "If they (Adams and her lawyer, James McGee) end up providing a good enough case to show she acted as a companion, a confidante or someone who took on the appearance of his wife, and he did nothing to dispel that, then he might end up paying."
Lewin added that the suit has a chance of succeeding because it was filed in California, where the views "are a lot more liberal."
Yesterday, however, King said she is confident that Margo Adams has no case.
"To have a forceful oral contract, it has to be for legal considerations," King said. "Being a mistress - when his wife wasn't there, for three or four days - isn't good enough. The consideration has to be for something other than sex."
Also, King said, in an oral contract such as the one Adams believes she had with Boggs, California demands that the parties have established cohabitation.
"Two or three days in a hotel room isn't cohabitation," King said.
In time, depending upon what happens to the case on Aug. 12, it is possible that certain members of the Red Sox would be subpoenaed to testify on their knowledge of the Adams-Boggs relationship. "I was supposed to give my lawyer a list of names by now," Adams said. "I've been trying to determine, 'Who can I trust not to perjure themselves?' . . . I'm going to try to make the list as small as possible, to make things easier."
Jennifer King also has her guns loaded, thank you.
"I will subpoena other players who I know have had affairs with her," King said. " . . . If I have to."