Cubs shortstop Addison Russell was placed on administrative leave by MLB last Friday after new information came to light that pertained to the League's domestic violence investigation into accusations against him.
While his ex-wife, Melisa Reidy, the alleged victim, twice declined to cooperate with MLB last summer, Reidy told ESPN that she's now ready to speak out.
Speaking publicly for the first time since her explosive blog post, Reidy explained why she did not initially cooperate with the investigation.
"Last year, when MLB contacted me, I wasn't ready," Reidy told ESPN. "I didn't know what was the right thing to do. I didn't even believe in myself enough to think I should do that (cooperate). I just left my husband and all this blew up."
The investigation began in June after Reidy posted a now-deleted Instagram photo alleging infidelity. A friend of Melisa's commented on the post and alleged that Russell, 24, had also physically abused his ex-wife during the relationship. Reidy and Russell separated after the accusations were made public and the MLB opened an investigation into the matter under its domestic violence protocol. Russell was sent home by the Cubs but never suspended by the league.
Reidy did not speak with Major League Baseball in 2017 and Russell denied the allegations upon his return to Chicago. The investigation remained open.
Last Thursday, Reidy shared a link to a blog post on her Instagram account. The post, while it did not name Russell as the abuser or Reidy as the author, was widely attributed to the shortstop's ex-wife. It detailed years of domestic violence, including physical, emotional and verbal abuse, as well as infidelity, which prompted the MLB to place Russell on administrative leave for the second time during the course of the investigation.
Reidy reiterated her accusations of physical abuse at the hands of her ex-husband, but declined to go into further detail with ESPN. She cited the details that were shared in her blog post as something she did not for herself, but "to help others" in similar situations.
While she is ambivalent about her husband being punished by the League, she felt it was right to finally speak to investigators after she initially turned them down on her lawyer's advice.
"My lawyers thought I wasn't prepared, emotionally," she said regarding the summer of 2017. Adding, "They told me I didn't have to do it on their timeline. I told them I wanted to wait until after my divorce."
Reidy and Russell were officially divorced last August. She remained quiet, her lawyer's citing a concern for the financial implications it could have for Reidy and her son. More than one year after the initial allegations surfaced, Reidy is ready to cooperate, regardless of what it could mean financially.
Russell's initial administrative leave was extended on Thursday through the end of the regular season. The shortstop has denied the allegations, most recently as last Friday.
"These allegations are completely false," Russell said in a statement released through the MLB Players Association. "I made that clear to MLB last year and reiterated it to the Cubs today. I’m confident any full and fair investigation will fully exonerate me. The protection of my children is foremost in my mind so I will have no further comment."
The Cubs clinched a playoff berth on Wednesday night, but Russell's availability for the postseason still remains unknown.