Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell says he’s sorry for the “hurt and the pain” he caused his ex-wife but didn’t detail what prompted a 40-game suspension under Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy.
Russell met with the media Friday for the first time since being suspended last fall, a penalty that he accepted without appeal. Russell spoke for nearly 20 minutes at Cubs camp, ahead of position players joining spring training workouts early next week.
The suspension followed allegations made by ex-wife Melisa Reidy. Russell missed the final 11 regular-season games plus a wild-card playoff loss to Colorado. He will be eligible to return in early May, barring postponements.
Russell said his “past behaviors were wrong and unacceptable.”
The 25-year-old Russell said, “I don’t want to get into any specifics, but what I do want to say is I am accountable for my past actions. I’m not proud of the person I was, but I do want to own this issue and take responsibility for the hurt and the pain that I’ve caused Melisa, and for that I am sorry.”
Russell is now in a “loving” relationship with another person, he said. He said his relationship with his ex-wife is “moving in the right direction” as they co-parent their son.
Russell said he is working with a counselor. He noted the support of his family and the team. Cubs manager Joe Maddon and president of baseball operations Theo Epstein attended Russell’s session.
An All-Star in 2016 when the Cubs won the World Series, he hit .250 with five home runs and 38 RBIs in 130 games last season. He received $3.4 million, one-year contract — a $200,000 raise — last month.