Melisa Reidy-Russell, the ex-wife of Cubs shortstop Addison Russell, spoke to Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com about her decision to go public with her allegations of domestic abuse against her former husband. It is the first time she has spoken publicly since writing a blog post accusing Addison Russell of abuse, thereby reviving the MLB investigation into him that had been dormant since last year.
Reidy-Russell did not give details about the specific abuse — she is keeping that between herself and investigators — but she did explain why, after coming forward initially last year, she stopped cooperating with MLB and why she decided to come forward once again.
A lot of it had to do with the logistics of her divorce from Russell, but a lot of also had to do with the emotional difficulty she had processing it all and getting comfortable with going public. To that end she contends that, throughout her marriage with Russell, there was emotional manipulation involved that complicated things:
“Even during our marriage and divorce, he would try to tell me, ‘That never happened.’ I was like, ‘How are you telling me something never happened when it happened?’ He was trying to convince me that I was crazy.
“I almost started to believe him. People are good at manipulating others. And when you’ve been manipulated for so long, you start to believe the lies. You have to tell yourself you know what is right and what is wrong.”
Russell is currently on administrative leave and is not likely to rejoin the Cubs this year. It would not be at all surprising if, when this is over, he is given a lengthy suspension.