This morning, Brett McMurphy reported on text messages sent from Zach Smith’s ex-wife, Courtney, to Urban Meyer’s wife, Shelley, discussing if Courtney Smith should get a restraining order after Zach allegedly abused her. This afternoon, Cleveland.com published several more police reports in which Courtney Smith told officers she was in an abusive relationship. The reports provide more details of how Courtney Smith described her relationship with her then-estranged husband and show just how many people and agencies came in contact with them.
Previously, what’s been reported had centered around Smith’s 2009 arrest for aggravated battery in Florida, which Meyer said he knew about, and the report of domestic violence in 2015—which Meyer denied previously knowing about at a press conference before McMurphy reported on the text messages.
Here’s what the incident run sheets from Powell police, obtained by Cleveland.com, show:
- In October 2015, Courtney Smith called police and told them that she believed she was being followed by a man in an SUV, and mentioned she was having “issues” with her “soon to be ex-husband,” according to the incident run sheet.
- A few days later, Courtney Smith told police that she wanted to file a restraining order against Smith.
- In January 2016, Courtney Smith was pulled over for speeding. She told an officer that “she was having domestic issues with her ex today and the city of Powell is aware of it,” according to the report. The report added that Smith was “crying and visibly upset.”
- A report from December 2017 said that Zach Smith was served with a trespass warning after showing up at his ex-wife’s house drunk at 1:30 a.m.. The report stated that Courtney Smith was asleep, but Zach Smith was seen by a neighbor, and he appeared drunk, was banging on windows, and threw a Christmas wreath on the door to the ground.
After the Cleveland.com report came out, the Columbus Dispatch reported that it had obtained more court documents in which Courtney Smith described abuse. She said in one document that “the stalking and harassment never stopped” and she feared there hidden cameras in her home used to surveil her.
In her affidavit filed Dec. 18, 2015, Courtney Smith alleges a tumultuous marriage in which “Zach has made threats toward me and has become physically violent.” She added that he threatened to withhold a portion of his employment bonus to her unless she withdrew her domestic violence protection order filed five months earlier.
Zach Smith already has been fired by Ohio State, but the questions about who exactly at the university knew what about Smith’s behavior, for how long, and if they in any way enabled him as the team kept producing winning seasons, remain far from resolved—and join the list of questions about the university’s diving team, Dr. Richard Strauss, and Congressman Jim Jordan.