An Instagram account that belongs to Melisa Reidy-Russell, the ex-wife of Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell, added a link to its bio late Thursday. The link leads to a blog post describing years of physical and emotional abuse by an unnamed former spouse.
The author was 20 when she met her spouse, the post says, and he was her first real boyfriend. At first, he treated her “like a queen,” but eventually began a pattern of emotional and verbal abuse, which “started to be an everyday thing,” according to the post. There was name-calling, physical intimidation, manipulation, and “threatening to ‘send’ me & our son home to my parents as if I was privileged to be living in our home,” she writes. She “felt like I was nothing.”
I couldn’t understand how the man I was so in love with, the FATHER of my child, the man I married just a few months ago could show such aggression towards me… I simply could not wrap my head around it, it tore me apart. As much as I tried to pretend it never happened, I noticed myself avoiding making him angry in anyway in fear of it happening again. I saw a darkness in him I’ve never seen or experienced in him or anyone else. Slowly but surely I realized the man I grew to love so much was becoming more and more of a stranger to me everyday that went by.
In June 2017, the same Instagram account that posted yesterday’s blog published—and later deleted—a photo with a caption saying the author had been “cheated on, lied to, and disrespected.” On the same post, a person Reidy-Russell had identified as a close friend added a comment saying that Addison Russell had physically and emotionally abused Melisa.
Later that month, Melisa Reidy-Russell filed for divorce after a year and a half of marriage. Her attorney told USA Today that she would not be cooperating with MLB investigators, saying: “Melisa isn’t interested in legitimizing anything that doesn’t come from her. Ultimately, MLB has one reason for wanting to talk to her, but she doesn’t believe it would be of any benefit for her or her son.” (The court filings also do not mention the abuse allegations.) The divorce was finalized on Aug. 30 of that year, according to Escambia County court records.
Yesterday’s blog post describes a pattern of her spouse apologizing and then repeating the same behavior.
After he would calm down from his angry spells, I’d always get the most sincere apologies, making me believe how sorry he was & he’s working on bettering himself. One of his favorite excuses was that he was “young” & he’s still learning how to live right, he basically raised himself, he didn’t have nurturing parents like I did & he didn’t know how to love the way I did. But, somehow he could ALWAYS find a way to make me feel like it happened because of me, or because I wasn’t listening to him. It was ALWAYS my fault – You don’t realize it, but its a sick mind game that you get sucked into – All your source of happiness somehow is controlled by that one person, depending on how they decide to treat you on a daily basis. Feeling the need of affirmation from him became the main source of how I felt happiness. Always trying to please him to show him I was good enough, strong enough, worthy enough… it consumed me & before I realized it, I was so far gone from the person I used to be.
The author writes that her husband cheated on her, and that she tried to change herself, hoping it would make him complain less.
Soon enough depression started to kick in & I completely lost focus of life. All I thought about was what can I do to change myself if I’m the problem? What was wrong with me? I used to be everything he wanted, what changed? I knew I was doing everything I needed to do at home, I was a good mother, a faithful & loyal wife… I didn’t know what else he was looking for.. I was miserable. I prayed A LOT about our marriage & for him, tried getting advice from family. Marriage is hard & I just assumed that this was normal for an athlete as his age to go through & eventually we’d get passed it. So I did my best to stick it out through these hard times in hopes of us getting better in our marriage.
When her friends and loved ones tried to help her, the blog says, she distanced herself from them. She grew isolated while her husband grew more distant. He “betrayed me once again” in April 2017, she writes, which was what finally propelled her to leave.
If MLB did investigate the earlier allegations of Russell abusing his wife, no resolution was announced publicly.
You can read the entire blog post by clicking here.