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Friday, July 10, 2020

Courtney Smith says Ohio State never spoke with her about domestic violence case

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Courtney Smith, the ex-wife of a recently-fired Ohio State coach who has been accused of physically assaulting her on numerous occasions, said through her attorney on Monday that she fully intends to cooperate with the school’s investigation into the matter. But if and when she is interviewed about the incidents, Smith says that will be the first time.

Smith’s attorney, Julia Leveridge, released a statement saying her client was never contacted by Ohio State to discuss the allegations she made against her ex-husband Zach Smith.

“As her attorney, I can tell you that Ms. Smith is cautiously optimistic that The Ohio State University’s investigative committee will determine if proper reporting protocol was followed upon learning of the ongoing, abuse allegations against Zach Smith,” Leveridge said, via Brett McMurphy. “We believe the University must prioritize the safety and well-being of others above all else. While The Ohio State University has never contacted Ms. Smith to discuss these allegations, she will fully cooperate with the university’s current investigation.”

Leveridge also said Courtney has made “concerted efforts” to press charges against Zach, though he has never been convicted. The attorney also said her client has never been compensated for any interviews pertaining to the case and urged those who are engaging in victim-blaming to think before speaking.

“The cycle of abuse is complicated. Breaking free from years of violence takes tremendous courage and support,” Leveridge said. “Blaming the victim only contributes to the stigma that is already present in our society today. It should be unacceptable.”

Zach Smith has denied ever physically assaulting his ex-wife, but a text message uncovered by McMurphy appears to show him admitting to strangling her.

Urban Meyer has been placed on administrative leave by Ohio State, and the university said it expects to conclude its investigation in two weeks.

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