September 21, 2018
Cubs shortstop Addison Russell, whose ex-wife, Melisa Reidy-Russell, has accused him of physical mistreatment in a blog post linked to her Instagram account, has been placed on “administrative leave.”
Addison Russells ex-wife accuses Cubs shortstop of physical mistreatment in blog post
“We take allegations of domestic violence seriously and support the League’s decision to place Addison Russell on administrative leave given new details revealed today,” the Cubs said in a statement Friday. “We will continue to cooperate with the League’s investigation so the appropriate action can be taken.”
Reidy-Russell, whose marriage was officially dissolved in a Florida court Aug. 30, made the allegations in an post titled, “You no longer have a secret, you have a story,” but did not describe the exact nature of the abuse.
“The first time I was physically mistreated by my spouse, I was in shock,” Reidy-Russell wrote. “I couldn’t wrap my head around what just happened. … Why did he get so angry? What did I do for him to want to put his hands on me?
“Of course I forgave him & assumed it would never happen again. I just thought he had let his emotions get the best of him, he loves me and he’s sorry. I was deeply hurt that he could even be capable of this behavior towards me, I couldn’t understand how the man I was so in love with, the FATHER of my child, the man I married just a few months ago could show such aggression towards me.”
Neither Reidy-Russell nor her attorney, Russell, the Cubs or Major League Baseball could be reached for comment.
When asked about the news today before the Cubs-Sox game at Guaranteed Rate Field, Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo said: “I don’t know enough about it. It’s an ongoing investigation.”
Friday at Guaranteed Rate, Theo Epstein told reporters that and team owner Tom Ricketts informed Russell of MLB’s decision to place him on administrative leave. He went on to say that the team can not assess discipline while MLB investigates.
Administrative leave can last up to seven days, according to league-union policy, Epstein explained, and after that period the league can request an extension of up to another seven days.
Epstein said that Russell told them that “he did not do what he is accused of.”
“I like to hear everything first before I draw a conclusion,” Joe Maddon said Friday before the game, but added: “I support the process 100 percent.”
Abuse allegations first surfaced in June 2017, when a person who had been identified as a close friend of Reidy-Russell accused Russell, via social media, of “mentally and physically abusing her.”
Russell called the claim “false and hurtful” in a statement.
Reidy-Russell filed for divorce two weeks after the abuse accusation but declined to cooperate with Major League Baseball, which investigated the accusation of domestic violence, but reportedly never closed the case.
Through her attorney, Thomas T. Field of Beermann Pritikin Mirabelli Swerdlove LLP, Reidy-Russell acknowledged writing a since-deleted Instagram post in which she said she was “cheated on, lied to and disrespected,” but she declined to confirm whether she was physically abused.
“That does not trace back to my client," Field said at the time. “She has been forthright about any comments she has personally made herself."
However, in Reidy-Russell’s Wordpress post, which is not dated, she wrote: “As time went on abusive behavior happened more often in arguments (more so when he was under the influence) & the verbal/emotional abuse grew to new levels. Friends would express their concerns with me but I would assure them that I was okay, he lost his temper & wasn’t himself.”
She wrote that one incident of abuse occurred with their then-infant son present. Reidy-Russell had moved back to her and Russell’s hometown of Pensacola, Fla., but said she returned to Chicago about a month later so the child could visit Russell.
“But, as I expected our visit was a nightmare, I swore to myself it would be the last time he’d lay his hands on me & it would be that last time I’d let my son be a witness to it,” she wrote.
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