• U.S.
  • Baseball

Ex-Wife Of Chicago Cubs Star Addison Russell Describes Years of Alleged Abuse

2 minute read

When Chicago Cubs star Addison Russell hit a home run in the 2016 World Series his wife Melisa Reidy-Russell said she cried – not out of happiness, but relief that he would be in a good mood later.

“I was bawling in the stands,” she said. “Like, ‘Oh my God, thank God, finally. I don’t have to expect him to be grumpy when we go back to the hotel.'”

Reidy-Russell detailed of years of alleged physical and emotional abuse in an interview this week on Chicago TV station WGN-TV.

Major League Baseball suspended Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell 40 games this week for violating the league’s domestic violence policy.

ESPN reports Russell, who denies the allegations, accepted the suspension from MLB.

Addison Russell and Melisa Reidy-Russell met when they were both 20 years old. Noticing some red flags soon into their relationship, Reidy-Russell said she tried to break it off with Russell multiple times. He would reassure her and convince her to stay each time, she said.

“The physical stuff wasn’t every day. Or every month,” she said. “It was just when sh-t hit the fan. Fights started getting worse. He started breaking things. He broke my phone in half with his hands one day over something.”

MLB began investigating Russell in 2017 after since-deleted Instagram posts from Reidy-Russell suggested the couple was breaking up; in a separate post, a commenter who was a close friend to Reidy-Russell accused Russell of abusing his wife. The league did not take disciplinary action against Russell at the time.

The investigation picked up again this year after Reidy-Russell wrote a blog post about two weeks ago describing the physical and emotional abuse she says she endured at the hands of Russell. MLB placed Russell on administrative leave on Sept. 21.

“After gaining a full understanding of the situation, I have concluded it’s in the best interest of my family to accept MLB’s proposed resolution of this matter,” he said in a statement. “I wish my ex-wife well and hope we can live in peace for the benefit of our child.”

More Must-Reads From TIME

Write to Mahita Gajanan at mahita.gajanan@time.com