Five days after pleading no contest - which has the same effect as pleading guilty - to a Los Angeles Criminal Court charge of domestic violence against his girlfriend, Jay Mariotti is officially out at AOL Fanhouse and ESPN.
In the immediate wake of his girlfriend’s attorney alleging that Mariotti struck his client in the face, the former ESPN Around The Horn panelist confirmed on Twitter Tuesday that he was no longer in the employ of AOL. Last week I reported that Mariotti would not return to ESPN and that his hasty plea bargain was designed as a last ditch effort to save his job at Fanhouse.
Following his court appearance last week, Mariotti attorney Nick Hanna called his client’s case resolution, “a no contest plea to a low-level misdemeanor.”
Attorney Leonard Levine, who represented Mariotti’s girlfriend, told the LOS ANGELES TIMES that Hanna characterizing his client’s crime as “low-level” was, “demeaning to women who face domestic abuse.
Levine added of Mariotti to the L.A. Times:
Mariotti struck his girlfriend in the face, which resulted in a visible bruise. Mariotti also grabbed and pulled his girlfriend by the hair, destroyed her personal property, and attempted to prevent her from escaping and calling police, according to Levine. Ultimately, he said, a bystander witnessed what was going on and called police.
Mariotti’s highly-compensated career as lead columnist for Fanhouse and celebrity ESPN personality imploded after he was arrested on August 21 in Los Angeles on suspicion of felony domestic abuse. He was later released on $50,000 bond.
Immediately after Mariotti’s arrest, the LOS ANGELES TIMES reported, “Police were called to the apartment and found his girlfriend, who has not been identified, with cuts and bruises.”
Subsequently Mariotti was charged with seven misdemeanors relating to domestic violence against his girlfriend. After his plea bargain last week, Mariotti was sentenced to complete a year-long domestic violence rehabilitation course, 40 hours community service and three years probation.