FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (AP) - Six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Chad Johnson’s divorce from reality TV star Evelyn Lozada was finalized Wednesday, a little more than a month after his arrest on a domestic battery charge, his lawyer said.
Johnson was competing for a roster spot on the Miami Dolphins when Lozada accused him on Aug. 12 of head-butting her during an argument about condoms she found, and she filed for divorce. The Dolphins promptly cut the 34-year-old Johnson, who is still not on an NFL roster after stellar seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals and a not-so-great year with the New England Patriots.
In an interview with Showtime’s “Inside the NFL” scheduled to air Wednesday, Johnson, who still faces a misdemeanor battery charge, says he’s taking anger management classes.
“I’m trying to find out how can I channel my anger when I’m in situations to where I would pop off,” he says. “How can I diffuse those situations, trigger points?”
Johnson’s attorney Adam Swickle said the divorce was governed by a confidential prenuptial agreement.
“Being married, being a husband, being a lover, was an honor,” Johnson says in the interview. “And I lost that. And you know that saying … `You never know what you have until it’s gone.’ And now I finally know what they mean. I lost two of the things that really meant the most to me. That someone completed my world, completed me, period. But I just hadn’t made that transition to where I needed to be the best man that I could, or best husband that I could. I didn’t make it all the way, fully.”
The receiver changed his last name back to Johnson from the playful Ochocinco that was in reference to his uniform No. 85. He has said he changed it because of his July 4 marriage to Lozada, who stars on TV’s “Basketball Wives.”
A representative for Lozada said Wednesday’s final divorce hearing was uncontested.
“My client is a single woman and looks forward to her future,” Danika Berry said in an email.
In the interview, Johnson says he takes full responsibility for the altercation.
“Chad has to work on Chad,” he says. “Chad has to go deep down inside and figure out where he went wrong. At what point did you lose focus on what’s most important? Like especially the game of football. . At some point I had drifted off track away from that and being one of the best at what I do.”
Johnson and Lozada were prominent in episodes of HBO’s “Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Miami Dolphins.”
Even before his arrest, Johnson was battling to salvage his career. He was released by the Patriots after totaling only 15 receptions last season. He dropped the lone pass thrown his way in his lone exhibition game with the Dolphins.
VH1’s “Basketball Wives” is filmed in Miami and also features Shaunie O’Neal, the former wife of former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal. Lozada is the former fiancee of NBA player Antoine Walker.
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