The NFL said it had not been aware of documents of NFL kicker Josh Brown admitting to 'physically and emotionally' abusing his wife.
The NFL will re-open the investigation of Giants kicker Josh Brown after documents released show he admitted in his own journal entries to physically and emotionally abusing his wife before being arrested in May 2015, and charged with fourth-degree domestic violence assault.
In a statement released Thursday afternoon, the NFL said it had not been aware of the documents released Wednesday.
“NFL investigators made repeated attempts — both orally and in writing — to obtain any and all evidence and relevant information in this case from the King County Sheriff’s Office,” the statement read. “Each of those requests was denied and the Sheriff’s Office declined to provide any of the requested information, which ultimately limited our ability to fully investigate this matter. We concluded our own investigation, more than a year after the initial incident, based on the facts and evidence available to us at the time and after making exhaustive attempts to obtain information in a timely fashion. It is unfortunate that we did not have the benefit or knowledge of these materials at the time.
“In light of the release of these documents yesterday, we will thoroughly review the additional information and determine next steps in the context of the NFL Personal Conduct Policy. We will not be making any comments on potential discipline until that time.”
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Brown was suspended for the regular-season opener for violating the NFL’s domestic violence policy. Under the league’s policy, cases involving domestic violence can be reconsidered if there is additional information provided after a suspension has been handed down.
Brown practiced with the Giants on Thursday at team’s training center in East Rutherford, N.J. A Giants spokesman said Thursday that the team had not yet seen police and court documents that were released late Wednesday by the King County Sheriff’s Department.
The journals, as well as emails, were turned over to police in King County, Washington, by the kicker’s former wife, Molly Brown, after Josh was arrested. The arrest led to Brown’s suspension, although the NFL said it was hampered in its investigation because Molly was unwilling to talk to league officials looking into the arrest. The NFL cited her unwillingness to cooperate as the biggest reason for not suspending Brown more than one game.
Charges against Brown were dropped less than a week after he was arrested.
“I have physically, mentally, emotionally and verbally been a repulsive man,” Brown wrote in one of his journal entries, which was obtained by Newsday. “I have abused my wife.”
He wrote in a document called “Contract for Change,” an agreement facilitated by a Seattle-based marriage counselor he and Molly Brown were seeing in 2013, that he had “disregarded my step son’s [sic] feelings and they have witnessed me abusing their mother.” Molly Brown has two sons from a previous marriage.
The document, dated March 28, 2013, also cited Brown admitting he had psychologically manipulated her during their marriage.
“I have controlled her my [sic] making her feel less human than me, and manipulated her with money. I have constantly made her feel as if she is not good enough for me to hide my own insecurities and self hate.”
According to the police documents, Det. Robin L. Ostrum of the King County Sheriff’s Office wrote that Molly Brown told her she and Josh had gotten into a dispute at the 2016 Pro Bowl in Hawaii in January. One night, according to Ostrum’s written report, Josh had pounded on Molly’s door [the two were staying in separate rooms] and after Molly refused to let him in, she called security. Ostrum wrote that Molly and her three children were taken to another hotel by NFL security. Josh and Molly Brown have a young daughter together.
Ostrum recommended on Sept. 14, 2016, that two counts of fourth-degree domestic violence be brought against Brown. It is uncertain whether those charges will be pursued, although King County prosecutors initially dropped the charges filed in May 2015. Under Washington law, cases involving domestic violence can be re-opened if there is sufficient evidence.
Giants president and co-owner John Mara said in August that the team was aware of Brown’s arrest when Brown was re-signed in April, 2016.
“We were also aware of the allegations associated with that arrest, and the fact the charges were dropped within a couple of days after the arrest,” Mara said. “Based on the facts and circumstances that we were aware of at that time, we were comfortable with our decision to re-sign him. Nothing that has happened in the mean time to make us question that decision … We attempted to make an informed decision here. We’ll live with the results of that decision.”