Aug 14, 2012

Case Highlight: Ev & Ocho

By now, you have probably heard about the alleged domestic altercation that took place between NFL player Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson and reality star Evelyn Lozada on Saturday, August 11, but in case you haven't, you can catch up on the story here.  The couple married in a lavish ceremony in the Caribbean on July 4.  Although the ceremony was recorded and planned to be broadcast on their spin-off reality show, "Ev & Ocho", those plans were scrapped by VH1 on Monday; 2 days after the alleged incident.

Now let's just be real.  We've all seen or heard about Evelyn's fiery temper, often graphically portrayed on the VH1 reality show "Basketball Wives".  We know she threw a bottle of champagne at Kenya, narrowly missing Shaunie's head.  And of course, there was the famous jump from the table as she launched herself at Jen.  As a result of these incidents and several others broadcast on the show, many are less than sympathetic when hearing of the alleged incident between Ev and Ocho.  Perhaps she deserved it?  Or maybe Ocho is telling the truth and Ev really did headbutt him?  Is that really hard to believe given her apparent lack of control over her temper?

Is this really the way to look at it though?  What if she had been raped in a dark alley by a psychopathic stalker?  Would we then say she deserved it because (in fellow Basketball Wife, Kenya Bell's words), she's "loose"?  Of course not!  So why is it any different now she is a victim/survivor of domestic abuse?  Does she deserve to be physically abused because she has shown abusive behavior towards others in the past?  Does that necessarily mean she headbutted or otherwise physically attacked her husband?

On the other hand, let's not forget the reason why Ev supposedly got mad at Ocho in the first place, which led to the alleged headbutting.  She found a receipt in the trunk of their car for a box of condoms.  She obviously put 2 and 2 together and figured out Ocho was most likely cheating on her.  After only 6 weeks of marriage, I'm sure this was a huge disappointment to say the least.  But am I the only person that recalls the BBW episode where they were discussing what sounded like the possibility of them having an open marriage while he was on the road?  Did she really think he'd only mess around on her while he was away??  Or maybe she was only mad because he hadn't informed her of his intent to cheat on her prior to buying the condoms, as she had advised him to do on the show?

Regardless of what happened that night, we can try this case in the court of public opinion until another celebrity news story steals the spotlight, and we'll never know for sure what really happened.  Only Ev and Ocho know the truth, and since their stories are already conflicting I'd bet money we'll never hear it. 

Still, having experienced similar incidents in my past, I cannot help but feel sympathy for Evelyn, regardless of her past behavior.  I know how it feels to be hurt by the one person you truly believe should be your best friend and the closest person to you.  After listening to the 911 call, I couldn't help but feel sorry for her.  Even though I could hardly hear her speaking in the background on the recording, I could sense the fear and uncertainty in her voice.  She wasn't the loud, brash and overbearing Ev she is on BBW.  She sounded more like a scared little girl.

And who did she run to when she needed help?  Not Tami.  Not Shaunie.  And certainly not Jen.  She ran to her neighbor...possibly a stranger...anyone that could help her save her life.  How desperate she must have felt!

The fact remains, Ocho is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law by a judge and a jury of his peers. Until then, all opinions and judgments are purely speculation.  However, after only 3 days, the effects of domestic abuse are clear to me in this situation:
  1. Damage to reputation & finances: Ocho lost his job with the Miami Dolphins and supplemental income from the proposed reality show, "Ev & Ocho";
  2. Potential loss of freedom: Ocho was arrested and charged with simple battery, domestic violence after the incident took place and now faces up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine;
  3. Breakdown of a marriage: Ev filed for divorce today, claiming the marriage was "irretrievably broken"; and
  4. Effects on the children: Ev & Ocho have 5 children between them.  I can't imagine how traumatic this whole experience has been on them.
I'll be watching closely to see how this case plays out and passing along my two cents every now and then.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on this too...
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2 comments:

  1. 5 kids? wow. how tragic. Divorce is hard. I imagine even more so when it is being sensationalized by the media. I do not really know anything about this couple. It is good regardless of what happened that she was able to step away. sometimes that is the hardest part in a domesetic abuse situation - getting out.

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    1. I totally agree with you. Divorce and domestic abuse are difficult issues to deal with but I'm sure it's even more difficult when every detail is played out in the public arena. Even though they both chose to live public lives, I still feel badly for them. I also agree with you that it's great she left. That takes a lot of strength and courage to admit its not working especially since they were only married 6 weeks!

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