Ex-NFL star Chad Johnson apologizes, gets out of jail early

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Former NFL star Chad Johnson apologized Mon­day for disrespecting a judge when he slapped his attorney on the backside in court last week, and he was released from jail after only a week instead of 30 days.

Chad Johnson (left) leaves jail in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with attorney Adam Swickle. Johnson said the judge who sent him to jail got him to think about his life.  J PAT CARTER/ASSOCIATED PRESS
J PAT CARTER/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Chad Johnson (left) leaves jail in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with attorney Adam Swickle. Johnson said the judge who sent him to jail got him to think about his life.

Broward County Circuit Judge Kathleen McHugh accepted Johnson’s apology and cut back his jail term for a probation violation to the seven days he had served since the rear-swatting. The flamboyant wide receiver formerly known as Chad Ochocinco said in court that he’d had time to think about why his flippant attitude was wrong – especially in a domestic violence case.

“I just wanted to apologize for disrespecting the court last time,” said Johnson, wearing a tan jail jumpsuit with his hands shackled at the waist.

Johnson walked out of jail shortly after 4 p.m. He said he was thankful to McHugh because she was the first person to get him to slow down and think about the path his life was taking.

“No one has been able to do it, not even my parents,” he said. “I thank her. Every­thing she did was justified.”

Asked whether he hoped to latch on with an NFL team, Johnson said, “I just have to say my next move, my best move.”

In August, Johnson pleaded no contest after being accused of head-butting his wife, who required stitches and filed for divorce. John­son was summoned to court when he didn’t meet with his probation officer for three months. McHugh ordered him to perform 25 hours of community service and attend domestic violence counseling sessions.

PACKERS: Donald Driver, Green Bay’s all-time leading receiver, will be ready to go if the Packers call and say they needed his help. Other NFL teams needn’t bother.

Driver announced his retirement Jan. 31 after 14 years in the NFL – all with the Packers.

“At the end of the day, if I get that itch, it would only be for the green and gold,” he said. “If the Packers called me and said, ‘Drive, come back to training camp,’ I’d be back for training camp. But until then, I’ll be sitting at home
and just watching football.”

BENGALS: Cincinnati will star in the training camp documentary show Hard Knocks for the second time in five NFL seasons, HBO announced.


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