Chad Johnson sentenced to 30 days in jail after slapping lawyer’s butt

June 10, 2013
Evelyn Lozada and Chad Johnson in the spring of 2011. (Evan Agostini / AP)
Evelyn Lozada and Chad Johnson in the spring of 2011. (Evan Agostini / AP)

Former NFL wide receiver Chad Johnson picked the wrong time and the wrong place for a joke.

Johnson was ordered to spend 30 days in jail after slapping his lawyer on the backside Monday during a South Florida hearing on his probation violation. Johnson’s lawyer was close to completing a deal that would have kept Johnson out of jail after he violated terms of his probation stemming from a domestic incident in which he head-butted his then-wife, Evelyn Lozada, last summer.

Johnson, 35, and his lawyer had a deal in place in which Johnson would do community service and counseling with an additional three months’ probation added. And then Broward County Circuit Judge Kathleen McHugh asked if Johnson was satisfied with his legal representation. Johnson gave Adam Swickle a light tap on the butt, which caused laughter in the courtroom — and angered McHugh. (Watch it here; note video-bombing security guard.)

“I don’t know that you’re taking this whole thing seriously. I just saw you slap your attorney on the backside. Is there something funny about this?” McHugh said (via the Miami Herald) as she slapped the plea document on her desk. “The whole courtroom was laughing. I’m not going to accept these plea negotiations. This isn’t a joke.”


Johnson, who has not played in the NFL since being released by the Miami Dolphins in training camp last year, apologized. “This is your courtroom. I have no intent to make this a joke. It’s not funny,” he said. “My life is in a shambles right now and I try my best to laugh and keep a smile on my face.”

McHugh wasn’t buying it. “It’s not the first time he’s behaved that way in my courtroom,” she said.

The judge sentenced Johnson to 30 days in jail, extended his probation until Dec. 21 and ordered him to complete an additional 25 hours of community service, as well as extra therapy sessions.

H/T CBS Sports, TMZ for the gif.

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren | June 10, 2013