Seattle Storm forward Natasha Howard denied multiple domestic violence allegations made against her on social media over the weekend by her wife on Tuesday, according to the Seattle Times.
Howard’s wife, Jacqueline, accused her of domestic abuse in a series of tweets on Saturday, which included multiple expletive-filled videos, screen shots of multiple text conversations and a video which appeared to show bruises on her arm. One text exchange she shared accused Howard of stabbing her in the chest and leg.
Howard denied these allegations on Tuesday, and said that she filed for divorce on Monday. She also requested a restraining order against Jacqueline, per the Seattle Times.
“The allegations that have been made against me are very serious. I deny them,” Howard said in a statement through her attorney, Lorraine Rimson, via the Seattle Times. “I do not take them lightly, but I do not believe that they should be evaluated and decided through social media or through the media generally. That is why I have waited to comment.”
The WNBA and the Storm have launched investigations into the allegations. She has not been suspended. The league recently suspended Los Angeles Sparks guard Riquna Williams for 10 games over a domestic violence incident in which she was accused of striking an ex-girlfriend and threatening a man with a gun.
Howard averaged a career-high 13.2 points and 6.4 rebounds last season, helping Seattle to the WNBA title. She is on her way to an even better season this summer, and was named an All-Star for the first time.
Wednesday night, despite the allegations, was yet another example of her on-court dominance.
Howard dropped a career-high 33 points and seven rebounds in the Storm’s 90-79 win against the Minnesota Lynx at the Target Center, and shot 12-of-21 from the field. Minnesota — which fell into a quick 10-point hole and scored only 14 points in the third quarter — simply had no answer for her.
Rimson told the Seattle Times that Howard understands “social media and the media is not the place” to be dealing with these “really serious allegations,” and that they will not be using that medium going forward. Anything that happens now, both Rimson and Howard said, will happen through the court system.
Her focus, she said, is now solely on basketball.
“Going forward, I will continue to deal with the issues related to my divorce through the court process only,” Howard said in the statement, via the Seattle Times. “I am confident that through the court process the real story will come out. I will have no further comment, as I want to give my teammates, coaches, and the Seattle Storm the respect they deserve by keeping my focus on basketball.”
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