Appearing on television for the first time since allegedly being head-butted by her soon-to-be ex-husband, Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson, ‘Basketball Wives’ stand-out star, Evelyn Lozada, discusses the incident tonight on ‘Nightline,’ reports ABCNews.com.
“It’s the hardest thing in the world to walk away from someone that you really love,” Lozada says in the exclusive interview. “But you have to walk away because I have to protect myself.”
As previously reported by NewsOne, during the week following the incident, Johnson was cut from the Miami Dolphins, fired on national television, lost out on revenue from his shelved VH1 reality show, “Ev & Ocho” and a lucrative endorsement with Zico coconut water, and is reportedly facing foreclosure.
“I believe he loves me. I believe he needs to get help,” Lozada says tearfully during the interview. “He’s a good guy that made a bad choice. He loves football and he’s very driven and a great dad. He made a bad choice that destroyed his life, and I hate that I’m connected to that.”
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The most recognizable couple in reality television was married for a mere 41 days before the situation turned violent. Johnson initially denied that he head-butted his wife, but since then, he has expressed regret via Twitter, leading some to believe that he’s admitting to abusing his Lozada.
Chad Johnson @ochocinco: I got to start life over and create a new one… RT
Chad Johnson @ochocinco: Don’t feel bad, my black ass messed up, I made the bed now I gotta lay n it RT
Lozada filed for divorce within days of the incident, releasing the following statement:
“It is with great sadness and much trepidation that I release this statement addressing the domestic violence incident that happened this past Saturday,” the reality star wrote in an email via her publicist. “I am deeply disappointed that Chad has failed to take responsibility for his actions and made false accusations against me, it is my sincere hope that he seeks the help he needs to overcome his troubles. Domestic violence is not okay and hopefully my taking a stand will help encourage other women to break their silence as well. I’m grateful to my family, friends and fans for the outpouring of support during this difficult time.”
Through it all, Johnson has refused to speak negatively about his wife, choosing instead to voice his love for her:
“I would like to apologize to everyone for the recent events that have occurred, ” wrote Johnson in a statement. “I would like to wish Evelyn well and will never say anything bad about her because I truly love her to death.”