Amy Kaufman: Journalist Jonah Keri's ex-wife recalls HORRIFIC domestic abuse and elevator attack
Jonah Keri, a baseball journalist, was sentenced to 21 months in jail in March for physically and emotionally abusing his ex-wife Amy Kaufman and now, she is speaking out about the cruelty she endured.
Kaufman, who is publicizing her identity as a victim on Twitter, spoke with CBC in Canada about her ordeals. "At the time, it felt like a fairytale," Kaufman recalled of the beginning of her relationship with Keri. "And in retrospect, I was being love-bombed. Days planned of picnics and flowers and hotel rooms filled with champagne, and reading me poetry and buying me bubble baths. I did think to myself, and wrote myself a note actually, saying this was the biggest leap of faith I’ve ever taken and I hope I don’t regret it."
Keri chose to relocate to Montreal where Kaufman lived without them talking about it, and they would share her condo and he'd be taking control of the funds, she added. Keri's behavior was described as "coercive control" by the interviewer. "A lot of what the relationship was me trying to figure out which one was really him: Is it the fawning, doting guy that wakes up 10 minutes before me each morning to make sure my coffee’s waiting for me on the night table to wake up or is it the person that calls me a Nazi and pushes me to the ground and bites when angry?" Kaufman said.
Keri, who was arrested in 2019, admitted to striking Kaufman and breaking her nose a month before their baby's due date, as well as threatening to kill both her and their unborn child. Kaufman was read a list of things she said Keri did to her during the relationship, including several instances of physical assault and death threats, by the interviewer.
"When I hear it, it doesn't feel as though it happened to me," Kaufman added. "Because I'm not the same person that I was in that situation. People who have been in the situation know you go into survival mode. You live in 5-10 minute chunks of the day of just trying to keep things calm, or defer, or appease, or placate, or do anything possible to keep myself safe," she said. Keri continued his professional career during the era of abuse, according to Kaufman, with no signs of the damage he was inflicting on his personal life.
"He was completely on [professionally]," she stated. "We had a home recording studio for him to do his live hits for CBS Sports. He could go from punching me in the face, close the door, and I would hear, 'Welcome to the Jonah Keri Show. Hello friends.' It used to send chills down my spine to realize that this was not an anger issue, it was a control issue," she added. Kaufman described the scenario as "torture" and said she didn't know how she'd get out of it.
Kaufman eventually began recording Keri, and his rage was broadcast on the CBC show. Then, the interviewer played a clip of Keri headbutting Kaufman, forcing her down, biting her face, slapping her, and spitting on her in the elevator. Keri went straight into the studio after the event, according to Kaufman, and recorded a live hit for CBS. "I remember thinking that I should just walk in [on the spot] with the bite marks on my face, but I was just too scared," Kaufman added.
Keri has previously covered baseball for a variety of publications, including The Athletic and ESPN/Grantland. He said he was sorry when he pled guilty to his charges earlier this year, but confessed the apology was "meaningless" because "the cycle of violence continued."