He used to be one of the most entertaining, albeit eccentric, personalities in the NFL.
Now, days after being arrested on suspicion of domestic assault, he's the subject of more scrutiny and mudslinging than ever before.
To the surprise of many, though, TMZ reports that this isn't Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson's first arrest for domestic assault.
The former Bengals, Patriots and Dolphins wide receiver was arrested on Saturday night after allegedly headbutting wife Evelyn Lozada during a dispute while they were unpacking groceries, according to ABC News.
ABC's Sydney Lupkin reports that Lozada found a receipt for a box of condoms in the trunk of the car, and in the midst of an argument about it with Johnson, he allegedly headbutted her, though he would later insist that she was the one who struck him.
According to the same report from ABC News, officer Christopher Epps wrote in his police report that Lozada had a three-inch laceration on her forehead.
After the incident, Lozada fled to the home of a neighbor, who called the police. The 911 call was released on Tuesday, according to NFL.com, and in it, the neighbor can be heard telling the police to be discreet because of Johnson's status as "a very high-profile person."
On Tuesday, according to Entertainment Tonight Online, Lozada issued the following comments as part of an exclusive statement regarding the incident:
It is with great sadness and much trepidation that I release this statement addressing the domestic violence incident that happened this past Saturday. I am deeply disappointed that Chad has failed to take responsibility for his actions and made false accusations against me, it is my sincere hope that he seeks the help he needs to overcome his troubles.
The fallout for Johnson has been colossal. First, Lozada—whom he wed on July 4 of this year—signed an affidavit confirming that she will press charges, according to NFL.com. The Dolphins promptly responded by cutting Johnson about 24 hours after his arrest, according to the Indy Star.
Then, as expected, VH1 cancelled its reality series, Ev and Ocho, intended to chronicle their early days as newlyweds, according to Fox News.
So just to recap: No job, no TV show and an impending lawsuit. But for Johnson, the worst was still yet to come.
The most devastating news item to result from the chaos is TMZ's report that despite Johnson's sterling reputation, this may have happened once before.
On Tuesday—under the ominous headline, "Chad Johnson: History of Domestic Violence"—TMZ Sports reported that Johnson was "found guilty of battering a woman" 12 years ago, just prior to beginning his brief college career at Oregon State University.
Back on Feb. 7, 2000, the then-22-year-old Johnson allegedly slapped his girlfriend after accusing her of cheating. TMZ reports that he was found guilty of domestic battery, and he was sentenced to three years probation, 45 days in jail, a 100-yard restraining order and participation in a 12-month counseling program. He avoided jail time by agreeing to complete 30 days of community service.
TMZ reports that Johnson didn't fully complete his court-ordered obligations until 2002.
So what does this mean for Johnson? According to ABC News, he yelled, "I don't give a [expletive] about my career" during the alleged altercation with his wife, and now, he doesn't have one to care about at all.
His reality show has been cancelled. He's been cut from the Dolphins, the third team to take a chance on him in the last three years. And most likely, his relationship with Lozada—who rose to fame as the star of the reality TV show Basketball Wives—is over.
To top it all off, his once-solid personal reputation has been destroyed as well. Hopefully, as Lozada suggested, they can both learn from all of this—and ensure that this is the last time we’ll see their names in a headline like this.
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