Commissioner David Jones, in a written statement filed Friday, wrote that evidence presented during the four-day protection order hearing was enough to convince him that Kurt Busch had used his left hand to strangle his ex-girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, while placing his right hand against her chin and face, causing her head to “forcefully strike the interior wall” of Busch’s motorhome. The alleged incident happened during a racing event in Busch’s motorhome at Dover International Speedway. This decision led NASCAR to suspend Busch indefinitely, pending the ongoing criminal investigation of the alleged incident.
After the suspension was announced, Busch’s ex girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, said “no one is above the law.” She urged NASCAR to develop a confidential reporting mechanism that partners of drivers could use to report domestic abuse without fear of threats for coming forward about domestic partnership abuse. She said she was happy with the decision NASCAR made.
“I’m very encouraged that NASCAR is taking steps to recognize that domestic violence is a serious issue, and I hope that we see them develop a very clear policy on it. God forbid it should happen in the future.”
She went on to discuss the toll it had taken on her personally in a press release.
“For victims of domestic violence there are no ‘victories.’ My only hope is that the pain and trauma I suffered through this process will help other victims find their voice. Unfortunately we live in a culture where stories like mine are often swept under the rug out of fear and with the knowledge that for every person who shows empathy many more will seek to disparage the victim. It is bad enough to endure the actual physical abuse but the verbal attacks that follow when a victim speaks up are sometimes just as painful. Today NASCAR took an important step and deserves to be commended. The next steps are to develop a thorough process and policies that re-enforce the organization’s position it took today: Domestic violence will not be tolerated in NASCAR.”
Driscoll described Busch, the 2004 Cup champion, as battling alcoholism and depression leading up to the alleged assault. Busch testified he was afraid of Driscoll, whom he believed was a trained assassin because of the stories and photos she had shared with him, which the judge and much of the public did not find plausible.
Busch has staunchly denied the allegations of abuse and said that she showed up in his motorhome after their breakup and he simply “cupped her face” with his hands while telling her she needed to leave. He has asked the judge to reexamine the case, but there is no word yet on whether that will happen.
[photo via celebritygossip.com]