Josh Grispi‘s pair of arrests for allegedly assaulting his wife Kaitlyn earlier this month was the most despicable story to float around the MMA bubble until War Machine stole the headlines a few days later. Kaitlyn Grispi claimed that Josh had physically abused her for the past two years, culminating in a brutal attack on August 4th in which Josh savagely beat Kaitlyn and sicced his pitbull on her. Middleboro police officer Richard Harvey called it “the worst case of domestic abuse I’ve ever seen.”
But in a somewhat depressing development, Kaitlyn Grispi has now come out publicly to downplay the incident, and says she’ll take her husband back if he gets help. (Keep in mind that the August 4th incident occurred while Josh was out on bail for his previous assault and battery arrest on Friday; Kaitlyn chose not to renew an emergency restraining order because she “thought Joshua would be better.” He wasn’t.) From a new report on WickedLocal/TheEnterprise:
Despite the documented abuse and her reported and visible injuries, [Grispi] said Monday that she loves her husband, who is being held without bail at the Barnstable County Correctional Facility. The two have been talking by telephone nearly every day while he is in prison, she said.
“My husband’s a great father and my kids miss him so much,” said Kaitlyn, 25, a mother of two children, ages 1 and 3, as she broke down crying. “It’s hard. My son’s birthday is tomorrow. It’s just rough.”
Standing on the porch of her Middleboro home Monday afternoon, Kaitlyn Grispi said her situation has been blown out of proportion in police and media reports.
“It’s sad because they’re making it out to be way crazier than what it was,” she said…
Monday afternoon, visible were a bruise on her upper left arm and two small puncture wounds on her legs. Two days earlier, she said, she got a spray tan “just so I can cover up.”
“I went to Walmart the other day and I was sitting there and I noticed everyone staring at me,” she said.
After agreeing to be photographed by an Enterprise photographer Monday, she briefly went inside her home, applied face makeup, and came outside again.
Kaitlyn – with big, blue eyes and long, dark hair – said her domestic situation has only made headlines because of her husband’s involvement with the UFC.
“It’s about his name with the UFC. It’s not Kaitlyn Grispi with my picture getting domestically abused,” she said. “I would like to see how many domestic abuse (cases) happen in Middleboro. How come they don’t get any of this (attention)?”
Kaitlyn believes her husband’s aggression may be a result of concussions he suffered during his fights.
“I told him today that he needs to be evaluated with a CAT scan to see what is going on up there,” she said...
She declined to discuss how much abuse she may have endured in the past, leading up to her husband’s recent arrests.
“Yes. What he did is wrong. That is wrong to put your hands on a girl, and I understand that and I know that,” she said…
At times, she defended her husband, saying he is “a good person.” She downplayed the accusations of his abuse.
“Behind closed doors, everyone has a fight,” Kaitlyn said. “Maybe not that far, but everyone’s gonna fight. Every marriage has its problems. Does that mean you give up on it?”
She said she won’t go back to her husband if he doesn’t get help. “I need to actually see the change in order to make that decision,” she said.
Standing near Kaitlyn, Joshua Grispi’s brother, Jesse Skeffington of Plympton, said there is “a lot of confusion in the family” about the charges lodged against his brother.
“No one can picture Joshua doing this. The family can’t picture him doing this,” Skeffington, 31, said. “I can’t picture the scene that was painted, and obviously the family loves her.”
Skeffington said he has been visiting Kaitlyn regularly to check up on her. Her two children were placed in the custody of Kaitlyn’s parents after his brother’s arrest.
Kaitlyn is concerned about her dog, Buddy, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier that was taken into custody by Middleboro Animal Control last week. Buddy is currently under a 10-day quarantine to observe the dog for signs of rabies, and may have to be euthanized.
“I want my dog back,” said Kaitlyn, who told police last week that her husband would often choke the dog unconscious and that he did so during the Aug. 4 incident.
Kaitlyn said she has met with a woman who counsels domestic violence victims. Wearing a silver bracelet bearing a Cross, she said she is looking to God to get her through everything.
When asked why she’d consider staying with her husband, a man accused of physically harming her repeatedly, Kaitlyn replied: love.
“I love him,” she said. “I do love him. I can get past that if he can get the help. I know it can get better, because I know who he is.”
Your reaction to this story will inevitably be influenced by your previous experience — or lack of experience — as a victim of domestic abuse. Like most men, I can’t relate to it personally. And while I’ve never been the kind of person to blame victims of domestic violence for the atrocities inflicted upon them, I’ve certainly been guilty of judging them. “What self-respecting woman would stay with a man who beat her?,” I think. “What kind of person would publicly defend her own horrific assault? Doesn’t she know what kind of example she’s setting for her children?”
It’s easy for someone completely removed from Kaitlyn’s situation to sit back and throw stones. Sure, maybe she’s not thinking logically, and maybe she needs more help than even she realizes. Maybe there are psychological reasons why she can tolerate abuse in the context of “love.” Writing off her assault by saying “Every marriage has its problems” is cringe-worthy, but let’s not lose sympathy for Kaitlyn Grispi as a human being.
That being said, her faith that Josh can “get better” has already brought her more suffering. My only hope is that Kaitlyn Grispi puts her own recovery first.