Addison Russell’s Wife Files for Divorce, Declines MLB’s Interview Request

As relayed by WGN’s Dean Richards via Facebook, Melisa Russell, Addison Russell’s wife, has hired a lawyer from prominent Chicago family law firm Beermann Pritkin Mirabelli Swerdlove LLP to represent her in divorce proceedings. A press release read, in part:

Mrs. Russell has retained Thomas T. Field of Beermann Pritkin Mirabelli Swerdlove LLP in Chicago to represent her in divorce proceedings with her husband, Addison Russell, and has filed her Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in Cook County. Mrs. Russell has declined the invitation from Major League Baseball to be interviewed relative to social media postings and allegations of domestic violence. It is her desire to pursue a resolution that is, first and foremost, in the best interest of the parties’ son, and which occurs in a swift, amicable and private fashion.

First things first, this is not an invitation for anyone to spike the football in celebration of Addison Russell’s innocence or freedom or whatever. Please, please, please do not be that person who uses this as a reason to celebrate. If you want to finally exhale or feel conflicted or shrug, fine.

Declining MLB’s request is in no way indicative of anything that did or did not happen and the fact that the press release further contained an invitation to submit interview requests is not an indictment of Melisa Russell as a glory-hog. This isn’t something she’s crafting as part of a grand scheme, but is a strategy devised by her representation.

It goes without saying that I am not a woman and I have never experienced domestic violence in any direct fashion. Through empathy and common sense, however, I’ve been able to understand that most victims of abuse don’t ever step forward at all. To do so requires a great deal more courage than most people are able to comprehend, so being willing to speak about such events publicly should never be condemned out of hand.

I should also make it very clear that I am not accusing Addison Russell of anything. The only thing I — or pretty much any of us, for that matter — know about the situation came from an Instagram post and a subsequent comment from a third part believed to be one of Melisa’s close friends. And then there are the fairly well-known tales of the Cubs shortstop’s indulgence in extracurricular activities, though that doesn’t indict him of more heinous accusations.

We can speculate that Mrs. Russell’s declination of MLB’s interview request probably means the league’s investigation is over before it really got started. Given the lack of evidence, at least as far as the public is aware, it’s hard to believe the commissioner’s office will have anything tangible to research at this point.

There may be more information brought to light in the coming days or weeks, but my guess is that this is a matter that will remain largely behind closed doors. Which means we’ll probably never know the whole truth, not that we need or deserve to.

So again, please do not take this as some sort of victory for Russell or as a vindication of his reputation. It’s not that. It’s exactly what the press release says it is.


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