The ex-wife of Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell says she only recently became ready to discuss her abuse allegations against her former husband, according to ESPN.
MLB placed Russell on leave last Friday after his ex-wife, Melisa Reidy-Russell, alleged in a blog post that he verbally and physically abused her during their marriage. Under the collective bargaining agreement, the league can place players on leave for as long as two weeks. Russell’s leave is currently set to span 10 days, running through the end of the regular season, after the league extended it on Thursday. His status for the postseason remains unclear.
The league had been investigating Russell since allegations became public in June, but Reidy-Russell had not been cooperating with the inquiry. According to multiple reports, that has changed, and she has provided the league with new information.
“Last year, when MLB contacted me, I wasn’t ready,” said Reidy-Russell, per an ESPN interview. “I didn’t know what was the right thing to do. I didn’t even believe in myself enough to think I should do that (cooperate). I just left my husband and all this blew up.”
Russell, 24, and Reidy-Russell were divorced in August after 19 months of marriage. They had a son in late 2015, shortly before they were married.
Reidy-Russell says she wanted to wait for her divorce to be final before talking to MLB investigators and even then her attorneys warned her that might not be in her best interest financially.
“I planned to meet with (MLB) and then was advised it might not be in my best interests,” she said.
But Reidy-Russell says she eventually felt like she had a duty to tell her story and potentially help others.
“It wasn’t sitting right with me,” she said.
“I took it upon myself to do what I needed to do regardless what could happen, financially. I know that I’m going to be OK ... I shouldn’t have to feel like I can’t speak out to help someone else, in order to protect someone that hurt me.”
—Field Level Media