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
What’s wrong with this woman? She says she’s reported this abuse to the police, her parents, his parents, and Shelly. Just pack up and leave! Is everyone supposed to fix her problems for her?
Then WHY didn’t you press charges, Courtney?! Why did you bring Ohio State into your marriage and expect Urban Meyer to fix your problems? If you ”fear” for the team and for your life, then you should have pressed charges and let the police take care of it, and you would have had nothing to worry about!
Isn’t the timing suspicious, with the x-wife looking to sue after her alimony might be cut due to the x-husband getting fired? Am I to believe she is an angel who never provoked, blackmailed, or threatened him? When it comes to marriages, there’s even more than usual that meets the eye. My dad beat my mom, broke her nose then made jokes to friends in front of her to humiliate her. They divorced after 20+ years not because mom left him but because he left her for a younger secretary. Why did she stay with him? Her religion doesn’t believe in divorce. Also, the standard of living decreases for the wife. It’s easy to judge, but if you’re not in the middle of it or hear one side, you have no clue about what really happening.
also if a man is abusing you get out. leave.
i don;t know what urban could do. the police were notified and did nothing, and this is still america, a man is innocent until proven guilty. and he did fire smith.
This is a non-story that is being blown up by a media desperate to be relevant. Virtue signalling is now in full swing as the Rick’s of the world belch away on social media. The sad truth is that this woman made choices. She admits that she did not call the police even AFTER she was separated from Smith. Shame on her family for giving her bad advice. Shame on her in-laws. And shame on her for trying to destroy other people now. She may have been a victim but that doesn’t give her carte blanch to victimize others.. She claims Urban Meyer should have done more for her when she was unwilling to do anything for herself. I am willing to wait for the facts. Queue Rick. He wants you to know what a moral person he is. So, he will call people he doesn’t know scumbags and try to get other people fired. Sorry, Rick. The only scumbag I see here is you. As to the others, I will wait for the justice system to dispense justice.
THIS CRAZY. URBAN IS NOT THE POLICE. THIS LADY IS SEEKING A LAW SUIT AGAINST URBAN OR OHIO STATE. I SEE MONEY SIGNS IN HER EYES. BULLSHIT.
Can someone point me to the sourcing for why this needed to be reported? Title IX applies to Students and such was confirmed by the Supreme Court in the 1990s. Unless Coach Smith’s wife was a student, does the reporting requirement apply? Or does OSU have a wider standard?
A. Urban signed his new contract in April which carried the new provision about reporting. Is that retroactive to the 2015 incident?
B. I find it interesting that Courtney Smith currently is consumed with proving Urban knew of all this and he and OSU should be accountable. How about the the person responsible for the domestic issues responsible. At this point she clearly has some additional motivation. It’s actually not Urban’s responsabiltiy to ensure her “safety”, that is the job of the police. There’s always two sides to every story, somewhere in between is the truth, but the media has already ruled!
I can see it now, Urban Meyer will be fired, And the NCAA will make Ohio State forfeit all their wins during his tenure and the 2014 National Title as well.
Gosh, not surprised a bunch of men are having a hard time believing or empathizing with this woman. If half this is true, Meyer is gone, and it won’t be long. If he knew about the 2015 incident, he is gone. He said directly he had no, none, nada knowledge about that attack. If there is proof, he has committed the same offence that has sunk so many others: he covered it up instead of admitting that he knew. More to be learned about this entire affair
Name your “cover-up.” Telling media he didn’t know anything is not illegal. If so, every coach who said “I’m not leaving for a better position” would be on trial or in jail. Coach Smith has not been convicted of anything and was fired within minutes of a judicial protective order. If Coach Meyer goes down, it will be for the bogus “not doing enough” made-for-public-opinion clause that got invented in college sports.
I don’t want a liar, and someone protecting a woman beater teaching kids. Get your fucking fan glasses off and look at this like an adult.
Another mid-30’s “adult” unwilling to accept responsibility for protecting herself. And what a family atmosphere …. both sets of parents telling her to shut up and take it. What a sick family environment.
Find your heart people. Don’t go blaming the victim because you are afraid your precious coach is going to get mud thrown on him. It’s time we figure out the huge trap a woman finds herself in who is suffering violence from her husband. You can bet any woman in this situation has been shown she is powerless. That husband has generated much fear in his wife long before the abuse. For her to tell anyone at all is an amazing act of courage. In this case, many failed her. To be told to stay quiet because he might lose his job is a travesty–the 8th deadly sin. There are no easy or certain solutions in a situation like this. We all need to take a long look inside and figure out how we can take so lightly any level of violence against the woman you love.
Thank you, Dan. I’m a graduate and supporter of all things OSU. It is refreshing to see a statement of compassion for the victim and may she find support and courage in her recovery.
Don…you left out a key word, “alleged” victim. It’s irresponsible to call her a victim before anything has been adjudicated.
So, you never refer to OJ Simpson as a murderer? I don’t need a court to tell me Smith is a piece of shit. There are texts, photos, and Shelley Meyers supporting statements.
Dan, I want to add my heartfelt thanks for the well written and thought out response to this situation. As a pastor, I can tell you that if someone comes to me with allegations of abuse I have a legal obligation to report it to the police. I approach the difficulty of the situation in this manner….I’m not sure if this happened or did not happened but she (or he) reported to me that they were abused. I explain what had been reported but without judgement as to its truth. Whether or not the matter is further investigated is then in the hands of the agency to whom it was reported. This relieves me of my legal obligation. Why this approach was not taken is beyond me…this matter is much greater than any game that could ever be played.
Count me in as the plus 4 Dan. We need to let the investigation get to the bottom of it. If Urban is innocent of not acting on a crime committed by 1 of his employee’s, it will be revealed. If he IS guilty………………..there’s always sitting in a television studio. Pretty sad that all of this is because of one useless POS like Zach Smith.
“Duty” is a strong word. In fact its a buzz word for someone planning a lawsuit looking to allege negligence.
That said, it seems to me that what we have here are allegations.. unproven allegations that have not been adjudicated. Thus, absent some adjudication she is an alleged victim, as no one really knows. To impose a duty on civilians to protect alleged / unproven victims based on unproven claims is a stretch. Its even more of a stretch when the opposing party has a version that depicts the alleged victim as an abuser of the system, fame seeker, and vindictive woman just looking to hurt someone with baseless claims.
Lastly, why isn’t she doing an interview about her daddy? If anyone let her down it was him. Duty or not, I am coming to my daughter’s aid… but that is the love of a father. Looking to a football coach for that kind of love is well… odd.
Urban makes approx. $8M/year… Shelly, please step forward and say those 5 words “I did not tell him”
Totally agree with everything Chris said…im so sick of the media rish to judgment…Meyer didnt do this to her and if zach did then he should serve time–but she didnt file charges…her parents did nothing–should THEY be fired from their jobs too??!!! this is between her and Zach and ALL the evidence from ALL parties should be presented under oath in court of law and those two settle it–for her to blame Meyer is ridiculous and wrong..seems like a vendetta when she and her family did nothing about it..and to be clear if this did happen (and im not doubting it but also fair in any case to hear all the evidence from all parties fairly) then i hope she finds healing and justice is served..just stop blaming someone who didn’t do the crime!
This negative publicity is going to be hard to deal with.
Why didn’t the woman file charges?
Something fishy here.
She should have gone to the police. That’s what they are for.
It seems she did call the police multiple times. Keep attacking the victim though.
“Alleged” victim Rick. Or Are you aware of some adjudication of the allegation that gives you the right on August 1, 2018 to call her a victim (and Zach a criminal)?
Stop it. You sound like a scum bag lawyer protecting a pedo by saying “Hey, he hasn’t been convicted yet”. I had read enough reports to know Zach Smith is a piece of trash. But you WILL come back to eat your words when everything comes out, right? I expect not.
Seriously. The guilt game has been largely removed by herself in the interview. She was clear about the money and how hard she thought it would be to go back to work after being a stay at home mom. I’m not judging her. She didn’t sign on to be abused and eventually divorced. However, turning a blind eye to her own words and not allowing for the possibility that charges not being pressed due to her preference is ludicrous. And the posters you are shaming with your “Keep attacking the victim though” statement are not off track. She help those texts since 2015. When the well ran dry she played the cards she had. If you are so blinded by the opposite view perhaps you are the one that needs to rethink his position.
Wow . . . Now it’s time to become passive aggressive . . . Fix your life lady . . . we all have to do so when time requires you to grow up.
The title should read what she THINKS Urban Meyer knows…She can’t possibly know for sure
Why is it up to the Meyer’s to fix this lady’s problems? Sounds like she has a beef with OSU and wants to get everyone in trouble.
Why didn’t she press charges against Zac? What did her family do to help her? Did she reach out to groups on domestic abuse for help?
What did she do to seek help?
She sounds very bitter and wants everyone to blame for her problems.
It’s not his duty to fix anything. His duty is to report the allegations to his employer.
Very sad that she had to endure any of this. My understanding is that is as soon as Urban Meyer or any official from OSU were informed about this they are mandated immediately to report this to the police and proper authorities. If she desired that those she reached out for help, not to contact the police, she basically placed them in a very difficult situation. There seems to be much more about this story that is not being shared and/or reported.
What exactly was he supposed to do? Why didn’t you call the police? Don’t make him responsible to save you. Take care of your damn self.
It is a crystal clear NCAA obligation to report it if he knew. Oh, and it is the right thing to do.
Regardless of your lack of sympathy he is obligated to report these matters. His employment, based on NCAA bylaws, is predicated on reporting issues of abuse. His moral obligation as a self-professed and devout Catholic is an entirely different issue.
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