Chad Johnson: Jail Sentence Was "Best Thing That Could Happen to Me Right Now"

The former NFL player reflects on his legal troubles.

Posted: 06/19/2013 09:45 AM EDT
Chad Johnson

Is Chad Johnson turning over a new leaf?

The former NFL player made an appearance on Good Morning America on Tuesday and apologized for his "bad courtroom etiquette," which landed him in jail for seven days (he was originally given a 30-day sentence but released early).

Johnson, who was forced into an early retirement after he was arrested for head-butting then-wife Evelyn Lozada last year, had run into more legal troubles earlier this month when he was charged with violating his probation after he failed to show up for meetings with his probation officer on several occasions. 

Johnson's troubles deepened when he was sentenced to 30 days in jail for disrespecting the court by slapping his attorney on the rear end after the judge asked him if he was pleased with his lighter sentence. (Johnson was originally sentenced to community service and probation.)

"I’ve never been a part of the courtroom system," Johnson explained to Robin Roberts. "It was a light tap. It wasn’t in any way to disrespect the courtroom and I actually didn’t think anyone would see that because it was my third time doing so. That’s the way I’ve always interacted throughout life, just in general."

Despite the view of some in the judicial system that the judge overstepped bounds by giving Johnson jail time for the mild offense, the ex-Miami Dolphin agreed with it. "I support her and her decision to give me the sentence that she did, based on me not meeting the guidelines and criteria that I was supposed to meet in a certain amount of time."

He adds, "I think that Judge McHugh was able to get me do something many people have tried to get me to do for a long time: slow down, just at life in general...I see being able to sit down and think about life and where I’m going from this point was probably one of the best things that could happen to me right now."

The timing of Johnson's apology tour is convenient: photos of Evelyn Lozada's beaten and bloody face from Johnson's attack just surfaced online. 

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(Photo: Cristobal Herrera-Pool/Getty Images)

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