In the interview, which will air in full on Wednesday, Taylor said she has received permanent injuries after being nearly killed by her ex-boyfriend.
“I still have to regularly get my concussion checked… I have bolts, and steel, and a steel plate I’m gonna have forever in my arm… I’m gonna have…gonna have to deal with this the rest of my life,” she said.
For the first time, the woman who says she was attacked by former Seattle Seahawks player Chad Wheeler is speaking out.
Wheeler pleaded not guilty to 3 charges, including domestic violence assault.
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) February 10, 2021
The couple dated for six months before the alleged incident took place nearly three weeks ago, according to Taylor.
“We were, like, best friends. We did everything together…I even introduced him to my family. We would babysit my nephew together,” she said.
But on the day of the alleged attack, Wheeler started to show signs of abnormal behavior, including shaving his head.
“He loved, just loved his long hair. Refused to cut it. And it surprised me, and it worried me,” Taylor said. “I came home. And Chad was trying to play it off as if he just kinda cut his hair. But then, as time went on throughout the day, he started going downhill emotionally.”
The 5-foot-9 woman said the football player “snapped into a dark place” at that point, telling her to bow down and immediately grabbing her by the neck when she refused to do so. Wheeler, who is 6-foot-7 and weighs more than 300 pounds, is also accused of trying to choke his former girlfriend, who said she blacked out twice before the attack was over.
“I had touched my face. And I looked down, and there was, there’s blood on my hand,” the brutally beaten woman said. “I remember getting up and running to the bathroom. Chad was standing by the bed, by the doorway. And he was sipping his smoothie and was, like, ‘wow, you’re, you’re still alive.'”
As Blavity previously reported, the woman said she locked herself in the bathroom during the attack and called her family, as well as police, who struggled to take down the football player when they arrived.
The incident garnered national attention when graphic photos of a bloody Taylor surfaced online. Amid the backlash, the Seattle Seahawks released the 27-year-old, who was charged with suspicion of felony domestic violence and released from jail on a $400,000 bond.
Facing Wheeler in an arraignment earlier this month, Taylor said the free agent is still a threat to her safety. She explained the significance of her appearing in court in the interview with CBS.
“I didn’t want him to think that he had that power over me, that I wasn’t going to defend myself,” the woman’s victim advocate said. “I thought, how easy would that be for him and his legal team to be able to say whatever they want without having to look me in the eye.”
While she is grateful to be alive, the advocate is now focused on helping other victims of domestic violence.
“I really feel like God has blessed me with another chance,” she said. “And I wanna try to use the time I’ve been blessed with to help other people. And to get the story out. And make sure people don’t feel alone. And that this doesn’t happen again.”
The survivor still wants to see her former boyfriend behind bars. But as her fight continues, Taylor said she will rely on inspiration from her grandmother, who spent years advocating for domestic violence victims.
Wheeler posted a statement on Twitter after pleading not guilty to the charges, according to Bleacher Report.
“Events happened over the weekend that transpired from a manic episode,” the athlete said on his Twitter account, which is now deleted. “I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering that I have caused to [the woman] and her family. I apologize profusely for the turmoil that I have caused to my family, teammates, fans and those closest to me. The most important thing right now is that [the woman] gets the care she needs and I get help. Both are happening.”
The offensive lineman added that he’s walking away from football to get the help that he needs. Wheeler’s trial is scheduled to begin on April 6.
According to the National Statistics Domestic Violence Fact Sheet, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner violence. That includes sexual violence and intimate partner stalking, with impacts such as injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.