The fiancee of Texas men’s basketball coach Chris Beard released a statement Friday in which she apologized for “the role (she) played” in Beard’s domestic assault arrest earlier this month and said that Beard did not strangle her.
Texas, which suspended Beard indefinitely following the arrest, responded by saying its internal investigation remains ongoing and it is reviewing his fiancee’s statement.
Beard still faces a third-degree felony charge of assault by strangulation/suffocation — family violence.
He was booked into the Travis County Jail at 4:18 a.m. local time Dec. 12, hours before Texas was scheduled to play a game against Rice.
A woman, later revealed to be Beard’s fiancee, called 911 to her home early that morning. She said she had taken Beard’s reading glasses from him and broken them, and he responded by slapping her glasses off her face.
She told police that Beard “choked me, threw me off the bed, bit me, bruises all over my leg, throwing me around, and going nuts,” according to the arrest report.
But in Friday’s statement, she said that she told law enforcement that Beard had not strangled her.
“Chris and I are deeply saddened that we have brought negative attention upon our family, friends and the University of Texas, among others,” the statement said. “As Chris’ fiancee and biggest supporter, I apologize for the role I played in this unfortunate event. I realize that my frustration, when breaking his glasses, initiated a physical struggle between Chris and myself.
“Chris did not strangle me, and I told that to law enforcement that evening. Chris has stated that he was acting in self-defense, and I do not refute that. I do not believe Chris was trying to intentionally harm me in any way. It was never my intent to have him arrested or prosecuted. We appreciate everyone’s support and prayers during this difficult time.”
Beard told police he had audio recordings of the incident that showed he wasn’t the “primary aggressor,” according to court documents. But when asked if he would share those recordings, he declined.
–Field Level Media