Report: Protection order filing against ex-Ohio State coach Zach Smith describes repeated stalking behaviors

As Ohio State continues its investigation into Urban Meyer and what the head coach knew about longtime assistant Zach Smith’s alleged domestic abuse, court documents obtained by Deadspin have provided some clarity into why Smith’s ex-wife obtained a domestic violence protection order against him.

Courtney Smith reportedly filed for a protection order against Zach on July 20, 2018 and laid out a horrifying list of behaviors that had caused her to worry for her safety. She had already received a restraining order in 2015, shortly before she filed for divorce, though she also told Shelley Meyer, Urban’s wife, that such orders “don’t do anything in Ohio” at the time.

The protection order came two days after Zach Smith received a a misdemeanor charge of criminal trespassing for dropping off the couple’s son at Courtney’s house instead of a pre-arranged location. Brett McMurphy’s intial report on Smith’s alleged abuse came out three days after Courtney filed for the protection order, and Smith was fired the same day.

Why Courtney Smith received a protection order against Zach Smith

It’s advisable to check out the full narrative provided in the document obtained by Deadspin, but here’s a quick list of the actions described by Courtney Smith that Zach allegedly did while the two were separated. Warning, the behavior described is disturbing:

  • Cornering her while doing laundry and trying to push her into sex while their children waited in the car

  • Using a webcam to spy on the family in the house

  • Hacking into her emails, wi-fi and remote access of her laptop

  • Leaving a burner phone in her car

  • Using social media messaging to threaten men she dated

  • Refusing to follow the shared parenting plan from the divorce because he believed she was unable to pay an attorney to enforce it

  • Sneaking into her boyfriend’s backyard when the family was eating dinner

  • Using the children’s iPads to track the family during trips and threatening to follow them if he didn’t approve of the destination

  • Taking covert pictures of the family from a distance

  • Looking into and trying to enter the family’s home at 1:30 a.m. while intoxicated

  • Threatening to have her boyfriend fired from his job

  • Constant harassing and threatening text messages and phone calls when he was unhappy

Keep in mind, this is not the complete list of allegations against Zach Smith. This is instead what Courtney claimed in order to receive a protection order and attempt to put an end to such alleged harassment.

Courtney Smith had earlier made statements surrounding her ex-husband’s physical abuse when she filed for divorce. Those records were reportedly sealed without Courtney’s consent, according to a report from McMurphy, “in order to protect certain businesses and personal interests which, if published, may negatively affect (Zach Smith’s) occupation.”

Ohio State assistant coach Zach Smith was fired the same day a report about his alleged domestic abuse was released. (Getty Images)
Ohio State assistant coach Zach Smith was fired the same day a report about his alleged domestic abuse was released. (Getty Images)

Zach Smith: ‘I’ve never committed domestic abuse against her’

Last week, Smith made his first media appearances since he was fired and professed he had never been abusive toward his wife during an interview with 105.7 FM in Columbus, Ohio. However, he did admit the relationship was toxic and there were “times where things got out of hand.”

“It was toxic, by the end of it it just flat-out needed to end,” Smith said in the radio interview. “There’s a lot of aggressive situations and the only thing that is absolutely true is I’ve never committed domestic abuse against her. Now there’s times where things got out of hand and I had to defensively kind of restrain her and move her and get out of the situation and go sleep at the office or try to remove myself. That absolutely happened. So I don’t know when those pictures are from but all I know is what I’ve ever done in our relationship or in my life.”

Smith also claimed he learned of Ohio State’s investigation against him for the alleged abuse in 2015, and that he believed the school acted appropriately while investigating him and concluding he deserved no punishment. Courtney has since claimed she has never been contacted by Ohio State.

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