Cubs’ Russell responds to accusations of abuse by ex-wife

CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell responded late Friday after he was placed on administrative leave in response to accusations of physical abuse by his ex-wife, Melisa Reidy-Russell.

"The allegations are completely false," he said in a statement.  "I made that clear to Major League Baseball last year and reiterated it to the Cubs today.  I'm confident any full and fair investigation will fully exonerate me.  The protection of my children is foremost in my mind so I will have no further comment."

The Cubs released the following statement earlier Friday:

“We take allegations of domestic violence seriously and support the League’s decision to place Addison Russell on administrative leave given new details revealed today.  We will continue to cooperate with the League’s investigation so the appropriate action can be taken.”

On Wednesday, Reidy-Russell opened up publicly for the first time, confirming her friend's allegations in a blog post detailing years of physical, emotional and verbal abuse by the Cubs shortstop:

"The first time I was physically mistreated by my spouse, I was in shock. I couldn’t wrap my head around what just happened…Why did he get so angry? What did I do for him to want to put his hands on me? Of course I forgave him & assumed it would never happen again."

Last year, the allegations were made by Reidy-Russell's friend in the comment section of an Instagram post accusing Russell of cheating.

When the story first surfaced in 2017, Russell denied the reports to The Athletic:

Russell is not in the lineup for Friday's start of the Crosstown Classic.