Jacqueline Howard, Natasha Howard’s wife, has made accusations of domestic violence against the WNBA star in a series of tweets on July 13, 2019.
Howard is a forward for the Seattle Storm and is currently averaging 17.6 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. Both the Seattle Storm and the WNBA are looking into Jacqueline’s allegations.
“The organization is aware of the recent allegations against Natasha,” Seattle Storm co-owner Lisa Brummel and CEO and GM Alisha Valavanis said in a joint statement. “We are in communication with the league and looking into them.”
“We are aware of the situation involving Natasha Howard and are in the process of gathering additional information,” a WNBA spokesperson said in a statement.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Jacqueline and Natasha Got Married in 2017
Jacqueline said that the abuse didn’t “get bad” until after the two were married in 2017. She aligned with the saying “it starts with a push or shove.”
Jacqueline sent dozens of tweets detailing the abuse. She shared pictures of cuts, bruises, and scrapes on her body. She shared videos and disturbing text conversations between her and Natasha. She also shared screenshots of conversations with Natasha, Natasha’s mother, Natasha’s agent, among other people. Jacqueline said she had to take to Twitter because after conversations with all of those people nothing changed.
In one conversation between Jacqueline and Natasha, Natasha said that if she hurts or kills herself it is Jacqueline’s fault.
“Also, if I wanted Tasha arrested, I clearly could have that happen,” she wrote. “That’s NOT what I want. I want her to get HELP, real help. The fact that everyone is trying to protect her and her image instead of realizing she’s been wearing a mask in front of cameras is so sickening.”
2. Jacqueline’s Brother Died From Suicide
In a tweet, Jacqueline said her brother committed suicide. In another tweet, Jacqueline said that Natasha threatens to harm herself because she knows it makes her weak.
“Damn. the levels of mental/physical/emotional/spiritual abuse in all of this…and that’s the thing about abusers, they take advantage of your vulnerability and seek out the darkest corners of your life experience to use them against you,” Rebecca Fern replied.
Jacqueline also shared screenshots from a conversation she had with her own mother. Jacqueline’s mom said that the two found each other despite “the bullshit” they experienced during their childhoods. Tasha still has to cure the hurt of that little girl, she said.
“You know what gets to me the most?? I told her all that I’ve been through, just for her to do me even worse,” Jacqueline wrote.
3. Jacqueline Has Moved Out of the Place She Shared with Natasha
“Just so it’s clear, I’m going to get my things from our place,” Jacqueline tweeted.
Natasha and her mom is there. All I’m asking for is prayers this goes as smooth and quickly as possible.”
According to several follow-up tweets, two of Natasha’s teammates, Shavonte Zellous and Mercedes Russell, were there. Jacqueline said that Zellous threatened to beat her up “because she exposed Natasha.” Three police officers on the scene are said to have footage of the interaction on body camera footage.
While her teammates were making things difficult, Jacqueline said that Natasha’s mother was very helpful. When Natasha tried telling the police that Jacqueline was causing problems, her mother set the record straight.
4. Natasha Played In Sunday’s Game & Jacqueline Said it Made Her Sick
In the midst of Jacqueline’s allegations, Natasha was in the lineup for the team’s game against New York Liberty at Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle on Sunday, July 14. Upon hearing that Natasha would be playing, Jacqueline said she lost her appetite.
Seattle Storm took the win with a score of 78-69. Natasha can be seen wearing the number six in a video clip shared by the team.
“Can I just say I found out Tasha was playing while out to eat and my appetite is ruined- NOT just because the league is stating there’s an “investigation” but has YET to respond or reach out to me,” Jacqueline said in a tweet.
In another tweet, Jacqueline said she thinks it is very hypocritical of the WNBA to promote women and their wellbeing while allowing Tasha to continue to play, having made no effort to talk with the victim.
“The WNBA tends to sweep certain things under the rug and I hope this isn’t one of them,” she wrote.
5. People Are Showing Jacqueline Support on Social Media
One Twitter user said Jacqueline is “too fine” to be going through something like this.
“Glad you’re safe Jackie, you did the right thing by exposing the truth,” another user wrote. “This may be a nightmare for the WNBA but it’s far worse what you’ve been through.”
Another user said that if Natasha truly loved Jacqueline, she would never have treated that way.
Mikala Kieling directly called out the WNBA and Seattle Storm, demand they fire Natasha because abuse is not okay.