Former NFL star Keyshawn Johnson was arrested and jailed after a fight with his ex-girlfriend that reportedly resulted in a gash to the woman’s hand. The Los Angeles County Sherriff’s deputies arrested and charged the ESPN analyst with misdemeanor spousal battery early Monday, after responding to a call at his home in Calabasas, California, according to reports.
Police said when they arrived at his home around 12:48 a.m., they determined that Johnson and his ex-girlfriend were involved in a domestic dispute and he was subsequently arrested at the scene. He was released from the Malibu/Lost Hills Sherriff’s station around 9:15 a.m. Monday after posting $20,000 bail, authorities said.
In a statement to the media, he apologized to his family, friends and ESPN colleagues, saying he did not grab or strike the alleged victim and would never touch a woman in anger.
After retiring from football in 2006, Johnson, 41, took on a career as an NFL analyst for ESPN. He starred in the 17th season of the show Dancing With the Stars last year and was the first contestant voted off the show. He also made headlines last May when he feuded with former neighbor Justin Bieber over the singer driving too fast on the residential streets of their exclusive San Fernando Valley neighborhood.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Johnson attended Palisades High School for his sophomore and junior years and Susan Miller Dorsey High School as a senior. He then went on to play football at West Los Angeles College for two years before transferring to the University of Southern California, playing for head coach John Robinson in 1994 and 1995.
As a junior in 1994, he tallied 66 receptions for 1,362 yards and nine touchdowns, earning first team All-America honors as one of the nation’s top wide receivers and leading the Trojans to the 1995 Cotton Bowl, in which he was named the game’s Most Valuable Player. He followed the standout campaign with another first team All-America selection and an even more stellar senior season, catching 102 passes for 1,434 yards and seven touchdowns. USC would find themselves in the 1996 Rose Bowl that season and he set a record in the game with 12 catches for 216 yards and one touchdown.
Johnson was drafted by the New York Jets with the first overall pick of the 1996 NFL Draft, playing four seasons from 1996-99 under head coach Bill Parcells. He improved steadily every season with the Jets, catching 63 balls for 844 yards in his rookie year and ending his time in New York with 89 receptions for 1,170 yards in 1998. The Jets won the franchise’s first ever AFC East Division title that same year with a record of 12-4.
Johnson was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2000, inking an 8-year deal worth $56 million, making him the NFL’s highest paid wideout. He remained with Tampa Bay for four seasons from 2000-2003, winning a Super Bowl under head coach Jon Gruden. However, his stormy relationship with Gruden cut short his time with the Bucs, and led to his being inactive for the final seven games of the 2003 season. Johnson was traded to the Dallas Cowboys the following season in 2004, where he played two seasons before ending his career with the Carolina Panthers after the 2006 season.
Commentary by Rick Sarlat