There were two important developments for suspended Cubs shortstop Addison Russell this week as the mothers of both of his first two children spoke out in different ways. While I should note that it appears neither story includes incidents that have occurred since Russell accepted a 40-game suspension from MLB under the joint MLB/MLBPA domestic violence policy, the new information adds disturbing details to the public record.
Melisa Reidy, whose blog post in September reignited MLB’s investigation into domestic violence allegations that had originally surfaced on social media in 2017, sat down with Expanded Roster’s Kelly Wallace for an intimate conversation detailing Reidy’s relationship with Russell.
I strongly recommend reading the whole piece, however I will not be posting excerpts here as I normally would because I think reading this piece is a decision every person needs to make individually. I should warn you that it is detailed and may be difficult for some people to read. The piece includes excerpts from Reidy’s journals as well as her recollections of specific incidents and her growing isolation during her relationship with Russell.
In related news, yesterday marked the first time that the mother of Russell’s daughter Mila has spoken out publicly. Mallory Engstrom posted an Instagram story about her experiences seeking child support from Russell. Screenshots of the post circulated on Twitter last night:
Screenshots from @MalEngstrom’s Instagram page detailing interactions with #AddisonRussell in regards to their daughter. She says she was paid about $600 of child support in quarters and Russell’s advisors “feel they can disobey a court ordered agreement.” .#Cubs pic.twitter.com/vYjWnPJYRo— Ally Pruitt (@AllyPruitt1) December 18, 2018
Engstrom details a few particularly disturbing incidents including being paid a portion of her $600 child support in quarters and one dollar bills. She also talks about times Russell made verbally abusive comments to her about their daughter.
While this information is newly public, it’s unclear how much of it already factored into MLB’s decision to suspend Russell for 40 games. Russell has agreed not to appeal that suspension. The Cubs offered him a non-guaranteed contract at the non-tender deadline and Theo Epstein has spoken in detail about how the Cubs hope to move forward on domestic violence issues in general and Russell’s future in particular. If he stays with the Cubs in 2019 he would be eligible to play baseball again on May 3.