‘Catfish’ Star Nev Schulman Fires Back at Criticism Over Ray Rice Elevator Selfie

“My post was meant to raise awareness and support for everyone affected by the awful abuses of domestic violence,” Schulman tells TheWrap

“Catfish” star Nev Schulman hit back at critics who blasted him for tweeting an elevator selfie just hours after NFL star Ray Rice’s graphic assault video was leaked Monday.

Coincidentally, the MTV host confessed to punching a woman in his recently released autobiography. Though Schulman insists the incident was self defense and that he would never make light of domestic abuse.

“In college, I was in a situation where I was forced to defend myself, after being suddenly attacked,” Schulman told TheWrap. “Charges were brought, but my case was almost immediately dismissed as this was clearly a case of self-defense. My post was meant to raise awareness and support for everyone affected by the awful abuses of domestic violence.”

Also read: NFL Star Ray Rice Terminated by Baltimore Ravens After Domestic Violence Video Leaks

The post referenced by Schulman included an elevator selfie with a caption, “Cowards make me sick.Real men show strength through patience & honor. This elevator is abuse free.”

Schulman posted the picture just hours after TMZ released a graphic video of Rice assaulting Janay Palmer in an elevator, prompting some backlash against the TV star who thought he was making light of Rice’s violent outburst.

“The joke was fucked up for many reasons not in the least of which is that Nev himself has a history of violence against women,” writes Gawker’s Jordan Sargent.

Also read: Keith Olbermann Blasts NFL, Roger Goodell Over Ray Rice Incident (Video)

Others argued Schulman was simply misguided:

Social media was quickly abuzz after bloggers and internet sleuths found a passage in Schulman’s autobiography, in which the author admitted to being expelled from Sarah Lawrence College after accidentally punching a woman. Schulman was arrested for the incident, but said the charges were quickly dropped.

Also read: Real-Life ‘Jerry Maguire’ Agent: Ray Rice’s Stardom Stopped NFL From Issuing Harsher Punishment

Read the excerpt from Schulman’s book, “In Real Life: Love, Lies & Identity in the Digital Age,” released Sept. 2.

In Real Life: Love, Lies & Identity in the Digital Age

Schulman rose to prominence as the subject of the controversial feature documentary “Catfish” in 2010. Directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, the film follows Nev Schulman’s burgeoning relationship with a woman he met online, who winds up being someone else entirely.

The movie was adapted into “Catfish: The TV Show” by MTV in 2012. Nev Schulman hosts the docuseries, which also sets out to expose lies inherent to online dating.

Rice, the running back who helped the Baltimore Ravens win Super Bowl XLVII, was originally handed a two-game suspension by the NFL in July for the domestic violence incident, which left his then-fiancee unconscious on the floor of an Atlantic City casino.

TMZ released a longer and more disturbing video of the altercation Monday, which prompted the Ravens to cut him and the league to suspend him indefinitely. Janay Rice (formerly Palmer), the victim of Rice’s brutal attacks who has since married him, once again jumped to his defense Tuesday.

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