Some of you who have never heard of the Zach and Courtney Smith domestic violence story, might have no clue who I am or why I’m writing this blog. So to give you a quick overview of how this all started, I am Courtney Carano Smith, the ex-wife of Zach Smith, a former Ohio State University football coach. In August of 2018, I did a sit down interview with Brett McMurphy of the Stadium to discuss the years of domestic abuse I endured during my marriage. During that time, my story became a media frenzy and resulted in the suspension of head coach Urban Meyer. As expected, my story was not well received by the people in my community and rabid Ohio State fans. I’ve learned to live with that, but what I cannot live with is the continued harassment and emotional abuse from my ex-husband.
After my first interview was released, I was silenced by those surrounding me due to concerns that using a media platform would hurt my chances of gaining full custody of my children and have a negative impact on them. I trusted this advice and followed up in the media with statements only written by my attorney. I have since learned that a person cannot advocate for themselves or others by living in silence. Like many others in my situation, the abuse did not end once the divorce papers were filed. Abusers don’t just wake up one day and stop being abusers. Instead, I have endured years of stalking, harassment, verbal and emotional abuse that persists to this day.
Fortunately for me, once my story went public, I filed for and was granted a civil protection order from my ex-husband (MY civil protection order). Others are not so lucky, I’m only one person among millions who have endured some type of domestic abuse in their lifetime and I’m only one person among millions fighting a broken system. Often, a victim does not even realize they’re being abused if the abuse isn’t physical. Yet, domestic abuse can take on many forms. With this blog, I intend to educate people on the many ways an abuser can control and destroy a victim’s life. Sometimes I look back on everything I’ve been through in my marriage and divorce and I can hardly believe it all myself. Until a person has experienced abuse at the hands of someone who is supposed to love and protect them, one cannot imagine the toll it takes on your physical and emotional health.
My hope is that by continuing to share my story in its entirety, by holding nothing back, I can be the voice that so many women in my situation desperately need. Unlike others, I intend to tell the rest of my story in a way that is factual and evidence based. I’ll be including information from my domestic violence investigation files and I’ll also be including never released recordings (link to Zach audios), pictures, screenshots, text messages and emails. My blog is a work in progress and one that I hope to develop over time, but initially these are the following topics I will be addressing
- The Perpetual Victim
- The Podcast of Lies
- The Infamous Google Drive
- I’m Not Alone
- Urban and Shelley Meyer – what they really knew and who told them
- Tom and Michelle Herman – our friendship and their involvement in my life
- Speaking Up – how I really met Brett McMurphy and why I chose him
- Shared Parenting at it’s Finest
- My Mother, My Enemy
- Like Mother, Like Sons
- Lies, Lies and More Lies – Criminal Trespassing, the CPO, Memo of Understanding
- Living with Domestic Abuse – timeline and my experience with it
- The Ins and Outs of Rehab
- Sweeping Domestic Violence Under the Rug – the Powell PD investigation
- Message Board Warriors
- The Custody Battle
- Malignant Narcissists, Entitlement and Enabling
- The Cycle of Domestic Abuse
- Types of Domestic Abuse
- Resources for Victims of Domestic Abuse
- Nursing Life and Resources
Where We are Now
These past few months while I have been quietly fighting in family court for custody of my children, my ex-husband has done nothing but exploit my silence and use his media platform to harass, intimidate, and slander me, family members, friends, and supporters. Recently, Zach started a podcast, also known as his “revenge tour.” As expected, he is using his podcast and public twitter account, which has over 61,000 followers, to smear my reputation and to intimidate me and those close to me. This is his way of continuing his cycle of abuse through a different outlet since he cannot legally contact me or come near me (MY Civil Protection Order). Please understand that those of you who are supporting him and his rages are only perpetuating the cycle of abuse.
After my ex-husband posted an extremely disturbing video of himself at one of our daughter’s softball practices, I finally had enough. Our daughter missed TWO practices, both of which were after he was released from jail for violating the CPO and after he released his podcast. I decided to skip those practices because I was in fear and it was too much to face him knowing he or his family would try to harass or intimidate me (Video Zach’s mom -red shirt- harassing me). So in response to us missing practice, here is what he posted.
Not only does the video show the world how mentally unstable and unhinged he is, it also shows he has absolutely no regard for the damage he is causing as he continues to use our children as pawns in his very public social media rages. Enough is enough. I have decided to speak out for myself and others because the public deserves the truth before they buy into his “poor me” stories on his so called “revenge tour.” The truth is, that like most abusers, my ex-husband isn’t anything like who he portrays himself to be. Instead, he is a fraud, an alcoholic, a bully, an abuser and a deadbeat dad, who for the past year, has chosen spending thousands on a country club membership over paying court-ordered child support. This time around I will hold nothing back and I will not ever back down to that man again.
I’m sure Zach will respond with his own recordings or whatever he took of me during our marriage and to that I say, bring it on! I have nothing to hide. I admit to crying, screaming,and berating him for the things he did to me. He cheated on me more times than I can count, (my sorority sister from college, the wife of a former OSU player, the office secretary, etc.) he physically abused me, he lied, manipulated and gaslighted me endlessly.
Lastly, this blog is not a place for disgruntled Ohio State fans to air out their differences. I don’t care if my story has somehow tainted the reputation of a storied football program, I will not tolerate any type of harassment or verbal abuse from Ohio State fans or readers. I am happy to engage readers and answer questions and share information or resources provided by readers, but I will not tolerate harassment of any sort. Thank you for following my blog and sharing in my journey, your support means the world to me!