Those who have the misfortune of following the Twitter feed of former Chicago Sun-Times / AOL Sports columnist Jay Mariotti are already well aware the longtime “Around The Horn” fixture can rarely resist the opportunity to remind his followers that a) crazy ladies like to set guys up for a fall, b) the LAPD treat honest fellas (who never hit women) like crap and c) LIFE’S FUCKING AWESOME LIVING NEAR THE BEACH. The Sherman Report’s Ed Sherman interviewed Mariotti recently, who seems rather fixated on the above themes, along with remaining wildly optimistic about his future employment prospects (“I’m mulling over three possibilities — all terrific jobs. If they happen, great. If not, Mumford & Sons are coming to the Hollywood Bowl next week.”)
How have/will your legal issues impact your ability to get hired? For lack of a better word, are you “tainted”?
Ever see “Fatal Attraction,” the movie? I often felt like Michael Douglas. But that doesn’t matter in post-O.J. Simpson L.A., where even a battered man doesn’t stand a chance when a couple is arguing on a street and a third-party witness calls 911. Prosecutors saw an opportunity for a quick series of headlines in the L.A. Times. They never wanted to hear my side of the story; they just funneled me through a preliminary hearing and left it up to me to take it to a trial, not caring about the invaluable witnesses we brought to the courtroom and my $250,000 in legal expenses, plenty of which made its way to a financially ailing city via outrageous court costs. I could have taken the case to trial, but what a circus that would have been. How do I know a jury wouldn’t profile me unfairly, as an opinionated ESPN commentator of Italian heritage, and assume guilt regardless of the truth? I chose to take a no-contest plea bargain for one low-level misdemeanor, which allowed this person to stalk me in attempts to entrap me and cause me more trouble.
I don’t hit women – never have, never will. As the father of two daughters, I abhor domestic abuse. In truth, I was the one abused in the relationship; one night, she punched me 22 times in the chest, right against the stent inserted during my 2007 heart attack. I’ve discussed all of this on two Fox Sports podcasts and in a Sirius/XM interview. I’ve written a book about it. Now it’s time for everyone to move on and realize that men, too, can be victims of domestic abuse.