Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy argued in a reinstatement hearing with NFL officials that his then-girlfriend Nicole Holder simply tripped and fell into a bathtub during an incident at his home that led to his arrest on domestic violence charges.
According to a transcript of the March hearing obtained and published by Deadspin, Hardy and his lawyer, Frank Maister, disputed Holder’s account of the assault that she gave to police. Last week, Deadspin published a copy of Holder’s statement to police, in which she says Hardy “threw me into the bathroom, I hit the back of the shower wall and fell into the bathtub,” and then dragged her from the bathroom by her hair.
Speaking with four NFL officials, including a senior advisor hired to assist the NFL on domestic violence matters, Hardy said he never even entered the bathroom.
“I heard the noise, looked back and she had fallen into the tub,” Hardy says in the transcript.
The NFL reinstated Hardy after the hearing and commissioner Roger Goodell later suspended him for 10 games. After an appeal, Hardy’s suspension was knocked down to four games.
Deadspin’s report includes a full copy of the 126-page transcript, with other notable sections highlighted.
Hardy was originally sentenced to 18 months probation and a 60-day suspended jail sentence. His punishment was later vacated after he appealed the guilty verdict, and charges against him were subsequently dropped when Holder failed to appear at the jury trial.
Hardy claimed in court that Holder’s wounds were self-inflicted. Hardy and Holder are believed to have reached a civil settlement outside of court. His original 10-game suspension was reduced to four in July after an NFLPA appeal, and he returned to the field on Oct. 11.
- Dan Gartland