carlita hodges

Carlita Hodges

*In California, a prison study found that 93 percent of the women who had killed their significant others had been abused by them.

That study found that 67 percent of those women reported that they had been attempting to protect themselves or their children when they wound up killing their partner. Many abused women suffer in silence until they reach the end of their rope and decide to fight back.

Two decades ago, ex-celebrity basketball wife, Carlita Hodges made national headlines all over the world for allegedly throwing gasoline and lighted matches on her ex-husband, three-time NBA three-point champion shooter and Chicago Bulls guard, Craig Hodges.

The Story: An Ex-Celebrity Wife’s Untold Shocking Story of Abuse:
On a cold day in December, 1991, Carlita and Craig Hodges (3x NBA Champion/Chicago Bulls guard) were engaged in a heated argument in front of Grove School in Northbrook, Illinois, about their kids and it resulted in Craig pushing Carlita, and drawing blood from her lip. It was the last straw. In a desperate attempt to protect herself, Carlita threw gasoline lighted matches at Craig, who was unharmed.

As a result, Carlita was charged with aggravated battery and ordered to leave her home and the city of Northbrook, Illinois.

She was unemployable due to the bad press she received from her case and had already lost custody of her two sons (one was battling cancer and the other, another life-threatening disease) because of Craig’s fabricated story that Carlita had abandoned their children. Craig even threatened her life, and once stated that he could have taken her life several times with her pillow. He said that he watched her sleep and could tell her how many breaths she took per minute.

A devoted mother and wife who endured years of emotional abuse, Carlita stated that Craig often asked her to do sexually degrading things, including asking her to sleep with other men during their marriage. “Craig wanted to see me have sex with another man and I was hurt because I was his wife, not one of his groupies. I loved him and thought it was strange that he wanted to share me with another man,” said Carlita.  Carlita also revealed that her husband even came on to her best friend toward the end of their marriage. Regardless of Craig’s despicable actions, Carlita’s reputation was destroyed and she was dubbed one of the top 10 craziest wives/exes of the sporting world for well over a decade. She continues to be vilified in the media. View the links below:

Now an author and speaker, Carlita now speaks out about her experiences in her new memoir, Carlita’s Way: Out of the Dark, Into the Light (My Journey).

She encourages women around the world to speak out about their abuse. “Abuse continues because the victims are silenced by fear and shame, and abusers don’t get reprimanded for their crimes. If you marry a famous celebrity, and you speak out about your abuse, you are blackballed, re-victimized, and labeled as a gold-digger, or liar. Celebrity men get a slap on the wrist and the world forgives and forgets their crimes, which allows them to abuse the next victim.” Carlita says. In recent news, America’s Favorite Dad, Bill Cosby, was accused of drugging and raping over 10 women but he has never served time for his alleged crimes. Singer R. Kelly and 7th Heaven actor Stephen Collins are just another classic example of rich and powerful men getting away with sexual abuse.

According to, Lance Stephenson was accused of sexually abusing a female student inside his school. However, he pled to “disorderly conduct” and got a full scholarship to Cincinnati. In 2010, he was charged with felony assault after pushing the mother of his child down a flight of stairs. He signed a two-year, $18 million deal with the Charlotte Hornets. On November 27, 2010, New Orleans Saints Will Smith arguing with his wife outside a club and dragging her down the street by her hair, He was charged with domestic violence and was released on $1,000 bail.

More recently, the world watched in horror as the video that involved Ray Rice and his now wife, Janay Rice, involved in a domestic violence situation that resulted in her being punched, knocked out, and drug out of an elevator, surfaced on the internet. Janay Rice seemed to take the heat by fans, the public, and even some of the media. Fox News host Brian Kilmeade criticized victims like Janay Rice for not leaving their relationships, and said, “they send a “terrible message; they are actively feeding a system that funnels blame away from abusers.” Janay did forgive him, but the question remains: If she fought back at a later time, would she get off like he did?

What Happens When Enough Is Enough: The Ugly Truth about Domestic Violence and the Consequences of Fighting Back
Marissa Alexander was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot to her abusive husband, who was moving toward her threateningly when she fired into a kitchen wall. He had previously been convicted on a domestic violence charge for attacking her. There are countless cases of women being put behind bars for protecting themselves, and it is no surprise that victims pay the biggest price.

According to, one out of every four women who are the victims of domestic violence attempt suicide. Of the total domestic violence homicides, about 75% of the victims were killed as they attempted to leave the relationship or after the relationship had ended. According to, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends every day. With all the recent press about domestic violence, the question remains: How do people in power get away with such a thing?

There’s an old saying that money brings out the worst in people, and it’s clear that money and fame are still more important than protecting abuse victims.  “Fans humiliate victims because they value their idols and have a difficult time believing they are human and are capable of being monsters behind closed doors. They feel that their heroes deserve to get special treatment.

This is Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and I want to end it with a serious message to women and men out there. People need to know what happens when victims fight back, because the untold story still lies dormant…and it is happening and affecting lives today. We need to have stiffer punishments for perpetrators, and more celebrity men and athletes need to take a stand against violence. Survivors need to be encouraged to speak out and not drop the charges when they are abused, and our justice system needs to take the side of the victim and not the abuser,” says Carlita. For more information about Carlita Hodges, and to learn more about her story and memoir, Carlita’s Way: Out of the Dark, Into the Light (My Journey), visit



Florence Edwards & Charla Mackey
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