A Kent County Family Court judge has ordered NASCAR’s Kurt Busch to stay away from his ex-girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, according to a report from USA Today Sports. The announcement came from Driscoll’s attorney.
Carolyn McNeice said the order was issued Monday. Any further details and the opinion supporting the order by Commissioner David Jones would be released sometime on Friday, two days before the season opening Daytona 500.
“We are pleased that the court ruled in our favor. Ms. Driscoll can now know that she will not receive any unwanted communications from Mr. Busch and feel that she is safe after nearly five months,” McNeice wrote in an email to USA Today.
Jim Ligouri, Busch’s Dover attorney, said he was unaware of the decision.
If true, the decision brings an end to a long no-contact order hearing between Busch and Driscoll. Driscoll filed the protective order request in November, following claims that Busch grabbed her throat and smashed her head three times against the wall during a September race weekend in Dover. While the usual protection from abuse hearings last half of a day at most, this hearing took four full days and stretched out over a two-month period.
Busch’s legal camp has consistently denied Driscoll’s allegations, instead claiming she was a bitter ex-lover attempting to ruin Busch’s career. On the stand the driver claimed that he never clammed her head, grabbed herby the throat, or pushed her head against the wall. He contends that he merely cupped her face and told her to leave.
A Dover police detective confirmed hearing the same testimony from Busch, but added that Driscoll’s head tapped the wall as he cupper her face.
Driscoll has requested that Busch stay away from her and not contact her. She also wishes for Busch to undergo a psychiatric evaluation and be assessed by a certified domestic violence treatment agency, according to the protection order filing last year.
The Dover Police Department closed its investigation into the incident in December and turned it over to the state Attorney General’s office. The office has yet to announce a decidion on the allegations.
Patricia Driscoll tweeted Monday afternoon:
Driscoll filed a domestic assault claim on Nov. 5 against Busch, and filed for a protective order in late November, seeking a restraining order. The four-day hearing ended on Jan. 13, and Commissioner David Jones said at that time he would issue his opinion and rule on the protection order upon receiving additional transcripts and closing summations from both attorneys.
Busch, the 2004 Cup champion, testified that he was emotional after watching the movie Seven Years in Tibet in his coach when Driscoll and her then-9-year-old son arrived unannounced. He denied claims that he had slammed her head into the wall three times, instead claiming he cupped Driscoll’s head in his hands and asked her to leave.
Busch was scrutinized by fans and media after further refuting Driscoll’s claims by calling her a “bad ass” and a trained assassin who could have overpowered him. Driscoll, a partner in a defense contracting firm, vehemently denied these claims, saying they were from a fictional script she was writing.
The potential for criminal charges related to the case remains should the Del. Attorney General’s office choose to pursue. Last week, Stewart-Haas Racing co-owner Tony Stewart indicated the team had a backup plan in place if needed.
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