When Jay Mariotti pleaded no contest late last month to one count of misdemeanor domestic violence stemming from an August fight with his girlfriend — part of a plea deal that will kept the AOL Fanhouse columnist and "Around The Horn" ESPN talking head out of jail — his lawyer said he was “anxious to get back to work.” But it wasn’t clear if his employers — who had, in effect, suspended him during the case — would take him back.
ESPN told TheWrap that the network had no plans to use him. And on Tuesday, Mariotti broke his silence in a Twitter post, saying he's not going back to AOL:
Column writing has been a labor of love for 25 years, allowing me to see the world and cover some of the greatest athletes and events in sports. But it's time to step back from the daily sportswriting grind and focus on my other media ventures, including a book project.
I express deep gratitude to AOL for a fun, productive experience. I wish the talented staff at Fanhouse.com nothing but the best in the competitive Internet world.
According to sports blog The Big Lead, AOL would have taken him back, but two things happened.
On the day of his plea, his lawyer also said this:
“While we are confident he would have prevailed at trial, the process would have been long and expensive. Today’s resolution — a no contest plea to a low-level misdemeanor with all of the other charges dismissed — ends the matter once and for all.”
But a week later, his ex-girlfriend’s lawyer, Leonard Levine, revealed details of the alleged incident which did not exactly end the matter, at least in the court of public opinion:
Levine said that before police intervened in August, Mariotti struck his girlfriend in the face, which resulted in a visible bruise. Mariotti also grabbed and pulled his girlfriend by the hair, destroyed her personal property, and attempted to prevent her from escaping and calling police, according to Levine. Ultimately, he said, a bystander witnessed what was going on and called police.