Chris Beard's fiancée says Texas coach didn't strangle her in statement
Beard was arrested last week on felony assault charges
The fiancée of Texas men's basketball head coach Chris Beard said that he didn't strangle her in an alleged domestic violence encounter that led to his arrest and suspension last week.
In a statement released Friday through her attorney, the woman apologized for the situation and said she initiated a physical confrontation with Beard, whom she said acted in self-defense. She also said she told law enforcement that he did not strangle her that night.
The full statement:
"Chris and I are deeply saddened that we have brought negative attention upon our family, friends, and the University of Texas, among others. As Chris' fiancé 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."
Asked to respond to the statement from Beard's accuser, Beard's attorney, Perry Minton, told Yahoo Sports on Saturday morning that she's "a smart and independent woman."
"I think," Minton added, "everyone should let her have her voice in this matter.”
Neither Minton nor the woman's attorney, Randy Leavitt, responded when asked by Yahoo Sports if she or Beard have been in contact with the Austin police department or the University of Texas since she requested that the charge be dropped.
Beard was arrested in the early morning of Dec. 12 and charged with third-degree assault on a family or household member/impeding breath circulation. He was later released on $10,000 bail with the condition that he not go within 200 yards of the alleged victim or the home they reportedly shared.
An Austin police spokesperson told Yahoo Sports that they received a 911 call at 12:15 a.m. on Dec. 12. They immediately dispatched officers to a home on the 1900 block of Vista Lane in Tarrytown, an upscale Austin neighborhood near the UT campus.
According to first obtained by the , a woman answered the door and identified herself as Beard's fiancee. She said that she and Beard had been arguing and that Beard “just snapped” and “became super violent."
Beard, the woman told officers the night of the incident, "choked me, threw me off the bed, bit me, bruises all over my leg, throwing me around, and going nuts." She said Beard choked her from behind for “like 5 seconds” hard enough that she couldn’t breathe.
Texas suspended Beard indefinitely shortly before its game Dec. 12 and has since won three games without him. The team has been playing with associate head coach Rodney Terry as its acting head coach.
Yahoo Sports' Jeff Eisenberg contributed to this report.