Milton Bradley, retired MLB outfielder is widely known as a loose cannon–on and off the field. Recently, Sports Illustrated did a story on Bradley’s marriage and violent relationship with the late Monique Bradley and in the article, dramatic and horrific details about their sordid relationship are revealed.
The two met in 2003 while Bradley played for the Cleveland Indians. Monique was 22 and Milton was 25. Throughout the following decade, court records show that their relationship was a seemingly unbreakable cycle of emotional and physical abuse.
Two days after Monique and Milton married in 2005, he forced her to sign a prenuptial agreement. Monique said that he intimidated her and said, “You didn’t think you were going to leave here without signing this.” He always maintained that Monique’s abuse claims were efforts to increase the value of a potential divorce settlement. He continued to abuse her and the police made countless visits to their home that summer. Monique stayed and had their first child.
By 2006, Milton filed for divorce, but they continued living together. Two years later, the Milton and Monique were still married and had a second child on the way. Many battered women continue to stay in a bad situation, hoping things will change or staying to continue a lifestyle they’ve grown accustomed to.
Monique moved back home with her parents in Ohio to have the baby, but Milton reportedly harassed her to do as he said. When he realized her mother was staying with her in his home to help with the baby, he kicked them out. “It’s mine. You know, I bought a home. I can say who can come and go. I wouldn’t want my mom staying with me, and I don’t want her parents staying with me. So it’s my prerogative. I bought the home, paid for it,” Milton said.
As the years carried on, Milton’s reign of terror over Monique did as well. “I believe that Milton’s constant tirades, his anger and his unreasonableness are causing emotional harm to our young children…. I am afraid that Milton will actually take my life…. [He] has threatened to kill me before he lets me leave him with his money…. Milton makes these comments to me in front of our minor children…. Usually after he yells at me or calls me names he will send me a message that he is sorry, that he needs me and he will ask me not to leave. I have always forgiven him in the past…. Living under this pressure is causing me to have a great deal of stress and anxiety,” Monique told police. The police…as if we’re supposed to be able to trust them, knowing the ones dealing with the Bradleys brushed off the violence as if it weren’t an issue (from police reports):
MILTON BRADLEY: About 30 minutes later, a knock on the door…. [A policeman said], “Did you hit her?” I go, “No.” … He goes, “Do you want to let her back in the house?” I said, “If she knows how to act.” … [I told Monique] “Quit calling the f—— police for nothing,” right in front of the cop…. So the cop left….
MILTON BRADLEY: I do everything I can to keep the peace in our relationship.2
MICHELLE LIM: Let’s talk about you not being a good husband. Describe why you’re not a good husband.
BRADLEY: Because I don’t have a good wife.
LIM: So it’s her fault you’re not a good husband?
BRADLEY: You get what you give. It’s one of my favorite quotes….
LIM: You’ve called her dumb bitch?
Milton threatened to kill Monique and he was actually arrested in 2011 for making threats to a woman, but his bail was set at a very affordable $50,000 and he was released that same day. After he threatened to kill her at least three more times, they both filed for divorce. According to Milton, his agent arranged for him to have dinner with Monique—whom he was barred from seeing—and their kids. Monique then canceled, he said, and he found out that her parents were at his Encino residence to help care for her and the children. That’s when Milton sent a series of texts to Monique’s father, Roger Williams. He then sent Williams a video of himself and Monique having sex, saying, “That’s your daughter getting f*cked. And there’s more where that came from.”
And while you would think that would be the final straw for this relationship, Monique stayed and even went on a family vacation with Milton in 2012. When asked why she would travel with him, Monique told police, “When we got along it was the best…I just always wanted to believe there was a better person.”
He abused her and tried to taint her reputation, claiming in court that Monique was an alcoholic and often hurt herself because of her drunkeness. Their nanny testified against that, saying she’s never seen Monique drink nor smelled it on her breath. By 2013, it seemed Milton was starting to really face his fate as he was charged with 13 counts of assault with a deadly weapon, vandalism and dissuading a witness and faced up to 13 years in jail if convicted. He was convicted of nine counts, including inflicting corporal injury on a spouse, assault with a deadly weapon (a baseball bat), criminal threats and brandishing a deadly weapon. Because all are misdemeanors, he was allowed to make bail. Meanwhile, Monique’s health worsened and she dealt with undiagnosed abdominal swelling that made her appear pregnant.
Milton was sentenced to 32 months in prison and 52 weeks of domestic violence and anger-management classes. He was released on $250,000 bail and remains free. Monique died on September 14, 2014. The death certificate listed the cause of death as cryptogenic (unknown origin), cirrhosis of the liver, hemorrhagic shock and cardiorespiratory arrest.
Now in 2015, Milton is a free man, pending his second appeal. Even though he’s been sentenced to prison, he still hasn’t done any time in jail and he has full custody of his kids. What is wrong with our justice system and how it never allows the men of power who beat the women in their lives to pay for the domestic violence nightmares they star in? From Ray Rice to Milton Bradley, it’s obvious that there’s a broken system that doesn’t support our women. Our hearts bleed for Monique and her family because all they want is justice, but they’ll likely never get it.