Chad Johnson pleads not guilty in Evelyn Lozada domestic violence case
Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson, formerly of the Miami Dolphins NFL team, has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor domestic battery charge, issued over a August confrontation with estranged wife Evelyn Lozada of "Basketball Wives" fame.
The 34-year-old football player, who apologized after the incident, did not appear at his arraignment at a Florida court on Thursday, September 13 and his lawyer entered the plea on his behalf, according to the The Sun Sentinel newspaper.
Lozada, 36, told police that Johnson head-butted her in front of their Florida home on August 11. The two had argued over a drugstore receipt she had found that showed a purchase for condoms. Johnson said Lozada was the one who had head-butted him during the confrontation.
Johnson was booked on charges of simple battery and misdemeanor domestic violence and spent a night in jail before he was freed the following day. Lozada suffered a cut on her forehead and was hospitalized as a result of the incident, police said.
A hearing about the case has been scheduled for October 31, according to records obtained by OTRC.com. If convicted of misdemeanor domestic battery, Johnson faces a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
On August 14, three days after the confrontation, Lozada, a star of the VH1 reality show "Basketball Wives," filed for divorce. She submitted the papers to a Florida court 41 days after she married Johnson. Johnson then issued a statement of apology.
"I would like to apologize to everyone for the recent events that have occurred," he said in a message posted on the website the OchoCinco News Network, which he shared with his some 3.67 million Twitter followers.
"I would like to wish Evelyn well and will never say anything bad about her because I truly love her to death," he said. "I will continue to be positive and train hard for another opportunity in the NFL. To all the fans and supporters I have disappointed, you have my sincerest apologies. I will stay positive and get through this tough period in my life.
Johnson and Lozada married on July 4 and their wedding was filmed for a VH1 reality show, "Ev and Ocho," which references his temporary last name Ochocinco that he had adopted for about four years until this past summer. The cable network later announced that it was cancelling the series in light of Johnson's arrest.
The athlete, who also competed on ABC's "Dancing With The Stars" in 2010 (see photos) recently suffered a blow to his professional football career as well. Following the confrontation, the Miami Dolphins cut Johnson from the football team. He had signed with them in June.
Earlier this month, Johnson had Lozada's face tattooed on his leg. On September 4, a person on Twitter asked him why he did it after she filed for divorce.
"Divorce?" he replied. "Child please... that's my WIFE."
He also Tweeted: "I dont give a flying pretzel in skittle rainbow hell what she filed for..."
Lozada talks about her confrontation and relationship with Johnson on the new reality series "Iyanla: Fix My Life," which is hosted by Iyanla Vanzant and is set to premiere on Oprah Winfrey's OWN cable channel on Saturday, September 15 at 10 p.m. ET.
Lozada was previously engaged to NBA player Antoine Walker. She has a daughter, Shaneice, from a previous relationship. Johnson also has four children of his own - Jicyra, Chad Johnson II, Chade and Cha'iel.