DALLAS — The hundreds of pages might as well read like a script to a Lifetime drama.
NFL Attorney Daniel Nash: “You liked her because she liked to party, drink and do drugs?”
Ezekiel Elliott: “Yes.”
Nash: ‘You liked to do that, too?”
Elliott: “I do like to party.”
Nash: “And like to get drunk?”
Nash: “You like to do drugs?”
Elliott: “I did in college.”
That line of questioning was revealing but hardly out of the ordinary during the NFL’s three day appeal hearing for Elliott regarding his domestic violence accusation/scandal with ex, Tiffany Thompson.
While Zeke fights to get his six-game suspension overturned, his legal team, and Zeke himself, aired every bit of dirty laundry in the star Cowboys running back’s life.
The phrase “rough sex” comes up repeatedly in the appeal transcript, at least 80 times, in fact. Elliott’s defense used the couple’s penchant for physical sex as possible reasoning behind some of the bruises on Thompson’s body. They talked about him spanking her, choking her in bed when asked, and even mentioned that Thompson had texted pictures of her bruised inner thighs to friends after a love-making session with Zeke.
A friend of Thompson, Ayrin Mason, said, “Tiffany sent snapshots before of bruises on the inside of her thighs and she said the sex was rough, lol.”
Zeke admitted in the proceedings that Thompson was pregnant with their child in February, 2016, later aborting it when he convinced her they weren’t ready to be parents. He said he paid for her apartment and helped sign for her new car to help her get back on her feet after.
Their relationship was anything but healthy, with both parties at least partly to blame.
Zeke claimed it was a casual relationship that he intended to leave behind in Columbus, yet they stayed in close contact.
“If you wanted to move on, why were you still texting her?” his attorney, Scott Rosenblum asked.
“It was just convenient to have her when I went back to Columbus,” he responded.
She allegedly threatened to ruin his career on multiple occasions. The first time they were in Aventura, Florida. Elliott was training for the NFL Combine, and after having an argument with Thompson, she called the police.
Elliott attorney Scott Rosenblum: “Were you within ear shot or did you watch her have a conversation with the police officers?”
Elliott: “I did.”
Rosenblum: “Did you notice anything about her demeanor when she was talking to the police officers?”
Elliott: “She was literally looking at me, literally started smiling and laughing.”
Another time, July 22, 2016, the last time they were together, Elliott says she threatened him in front of a group of about 10-15 people celebrating his 21st birthday.
“You f***** up, it’s over,” Thompson said, according to Elliott. “I’m going to ruin your career, no one’s going to believe you. You’re a black athlete, I’m a white girl; no one’s going to believe you.”
Prior to that final incident, Elliott continued to go back, sometimes falling into bed with Thompson the same night they fought. Sometimes it even happened on nights that Elliott claimed Thompson had either crashed his plans with friends or other dates or even on nights he claimed she was stalking him.
He maintains, though, that he never put a hand on her that wasn’t welcomed, saying as much multiple times throughout the proceedings.
According to Zeke, Thompson used an email password of his to hack into his iCloud account, receiving his text messages through that and sending threatening messages to other girls in his phone.
She also shared a hotel room with Elliott’s former teammate Lucky Whitehead while the Cowboys played in Cleveland in 2016. Elliott says it was a ploy to make him jealous.
“After we had a big win versus the Steelers, and I had a very good game, and while I’m boarding the plane from Pittsburgh to Dallas, I received like 15 texts from an unknown number, and the texts were screen shots of text messages between Tiffany and one of my current teammates that play with me for the Cowboys,” he said. “And then there was a picture of a hotel reservation which had her name also his name on it. Basically, her telling me that she slept with one of my teammates the previous week while we were in Cleveland.”
“How did that make you feel?” Rosenblum asked.
“Pissed off,” Elliott responded.
NFL Director of Investigations Kia Roberts confirmed the player was Whitehead earlier in the proceedings.
“She said that ‘Ezekiel is upset because he found out that I was dating some guy,'” Roberts remembered Thompson saying. “I said ‘well, what guy?’ And she says, ‘A guy I met over social media.’ And then we go over what’s his name.”
“So that’s what gets to Lucky Whitehead?” NFL Players Association attorney Jeffrey Kessler asked.
“Yes,” Roberts responded.
Elliott said Thompson was attempting to contact him all the way up until the day of his meeting with the NFL advisors who helped hand out his suspension.
Rosenblum: “So she was actually calling you up until Junes 26th?”
Rosenblum: “Which was the advisory meeting?”
Rosenblum: “How many times did she call you on that day?”
Elliott’s team’s goal was to establish Thompson as a liar and someone who couldn’t be believed after such erratic behavior. The NFL’s lawyers wanted to remind everyone that just because her behavior was far from perfect doesn’t mean Elliott was necessarily a victim.
We’ll find out how hearing officer Henderson decides sometime early this week.