In the summer of 2017, Melisa Reidy-Russell didn’t want to discuss the alleged physical abuse she suffered at the hands of her then-husband, Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell.
“Last year, when MLB contacted me, I wasn’t ready,” Reidy-Russell said in the 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.”
On Wednesday, the league concluded its investigation of the allegations, and handed down a suspension of 40 games.
Commissioner Rob Manfred released this statement:
My office has completed its investigation into the allegations that Addison Russell violated Major League Baseball’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy. Having reviewed all of the available evidence, I have concluded that Mr. Russell violated the Policy and should be subject to discipline in the form of an unpaid suspension that will cover 40 games.
Including Chicago’s wild-card game loss to the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday, Russell missed 12 games while the league investigated, meaning he’ll be suspended for the first 28 games of the 2019 season.
Addison Russell Allegation Surface
In June 2017, an Instagram post from Reidy-Russell suggested the couple was experiencing marital issues, and a comment from one of her friends alleged abuse.
“My lawyers thought I wasn’t prepared emotionally,” Reidy-Russell said of the summer of 2017 in her recent interview.
“They told me I didn’t have to do it on their timeline. I told them I wanted to wait until after my divorce.”
She waited until her September blog post, which indicated that Russell had physically abused her “more so when he was under the influence.” The league placed the 24-year-old shortstop on paid administrative leave while they investigated the accusations, which Russell has denied.
Reidy-Russell spoke out despite her lawyers’ assertions that it might not be in her and her child’s best financial interests.
“It wasn’t sitting right with me,” she told ESPN. “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.”