Earlier today ESPN’s Jesse Rogers posted an interview he conducted with Melisa Reidy, Addison Russell’s ex-wife. It is the first interview Reidy has given since posting her blog alleging domestic violence against the Cubs shortstop. MLB subsequently placed Russell on administrative leave which has now been extended to the end of the regular season.
The interview is a powerful conversation with Reidy. While I’ll quote a few key elements below, I strongly recommend that you read the entire interview. It provides a lot of insight into some of the questions surrounding the timing of the post and the factors that Reidy considered in deciding to cooperate with MLB’s investigation:
“My lawyers thought I wasn’t prepared, emotionally,” Reidy-Russell said regarding the summer of 2017, when she posted on Instagram alleging infidelity on the part of the Cubs shortstop. A friend commented on the since-deleted post, alleging physical abuse by Russell. Major League Baseball opened an investigation of Russell under its domestic abuse protocol.
”They told me I didn’t have to do it on their timeline,” she said. “I told them I wanted to wait until after my divorce.”
Even after the divorce, Reidy-Russell remained quiet, as she said her lawyers advised her it wasn’t necessarily in her or her child’s best financial interests to cooperate.
She also sheds light on her decision to post the blog on September 19:
“The night I posted that, it was not planned. It was pretty late. Lying in bed one night, it just popped in my head so I grabbed my phone and prayed.
”I wanted to help someone else. I knew my words could benefit someone out there. I was able to overcome this at my age. I thought so many women could be impacted by it. God gave me the courage to do it. I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong so I posted it. My boyfriend was like holding my hand, I was like, ‘I’m doing this, I can’t believe I am.’ I never felt like such a weight lifted off my shoulders.”
Finally, Rogers also asked Reidy specifically about her interactions with the Cubs organization during her marriage to Russell, their separation and divorce:
Reidy-Russell places no blame on the Cubs but wishes she had somewhere to turn as professional sports -- especially baseball -- can be uniquely difficult on relationships, especially youthful ones.
”I hope that organizations that are family-oriented will do better in having some kind of system to help victims of domestic abuse, help them transition from what they are going through. Baseball is very, very stressful. It takes a toll on a relationship. Not everyone knows how to work through things. That could be huge.”
Again, I encourage you to read the entire interview.