Courtney Smith, the ex-wife of former Ohio State wide receivers coach Zach Smith, conducted a sit-down interview with the Stadium network in which she shared new details about alleged instances of domestic violence.
Courtney Smith said that she approached both her parents and Zach Smith’s parents for help after incidents of physical abuse.
“I was scared. I did tell my parents. I told (Zach Smith’s) parents as well. I remember specifically texting pictures to my mom, my dad, his dad, begging for help,” Courtney Smith said. “This has to stop, this isn’t normal. I can’t do this any more. I was told ‘don’t call the police. If you call the police, he’s going to get arrested, it’s going to go to the media, he’s going to lose his job.'”
She said that she first reached out to the wives of other Ohio State coaches in 2015, following what she says was a violent attack.
“In 2015, I came forward with it. I told Shelley (Meyer). I sent her some pictures, I spoke to her on the phone. And that was because at that point, we were legally separated and enough is enough. If I leave the marriage, I’m hoping this is going to stop. This has to stop,” Courtney Smith said.
At the time, Courtney Smith says that Shelley Meyer told her she planned to speak with her husband, OSU head coach Urban Meyer, about the allegations.
“She said she was going to have to tell Urban. She was going to have to tell Urban,” Courtney Smith said. “I said ‘that’s fine, you should tell Urban. We can’t have somebody like this coaching young men.'”
However, Courtney Smith told Stadium that she did not know whether Shelley and Urban Meyer had ever actually discussed the incident.
Asked directly if Shelley Meyer had ever mentioned talking to the head coach about it, Courtney Smith said, “She did not. She would reach out to me, ask me how I was doing, tell me she was worried, that if I needed anything that she was there.”
A report that came out Wednesday morning from Brett McMurphy cited text messages between Courtney Smith and another OSU staffer’s wife that implied that Urban Meyer was aware of the 2015 allegations against Zach Smith at the time.
Courtney Smith told Stadium that she thinks Urban and Shelley Meyer could have done more to help her.
“When somebody is crying out for help, I believe the coach along with the coach’s wife have a duty, they have a duty to do something to help,” Courtney Smith said.
“Instead of worrying about winning a game or instead of worrying about who his mentor is and who his family is and trying to protect that. Somebody’s safety and the safety of their children and the environment that they’re in, needs to be more important.”
Asked if Urban Meyer should remain the head coach at Ohio State, Courtney Smith said that it was a tough question to answer, but that the coach and his wife have a duty to help when somebody needs it.
“I hope in the future he never ever turns his head away again,” she said. “I know Shelley did everything she could. I firmly believe that. She was very supportive. She never made me feel uncomfortable. She never made me feel like I was a threat to her and Urban by telling her these things. However, I do believe he knew and instead he chose to enable the abuser.”
Smith said that nobody from Ohio State ever came to talk to her about the allegations.
You can watch a portion of the interview segment below.
Ohio State has not responded to requests for a statement. If the school issues one, this story will be updated to reflect that.
EXCLUSIVE: Longtime Urban Meyer assistant Zach Smith's ex-wife, Courtney Smith, opens up about reported domestic violence and what she believes Meyer knew. pic.twitter.com/dNWA9x2F4y
— Stadium (@WatchStadium) August 1, 2018