Darien Police have confirmed exclusively to The Darien Times that ex-CBS anchor had been previously accused of choking his wife to the point where she nearly passed out this January.
Rob Morrison, the CBS anchor who resigned after being accused of strangling and threatening his wife Ashley Morrison, which resulted in his arrest, was not arrested in the earlier incident, because his wife retracted her sworn statement, police said.
A police report released to The Darien Times dated Jan. 20, 2013 indicates a history of domestic violence and alcohol abuse between the couple.
Ashley told police, in a report she subsequently withdrew, that on Monday, Jan. 14, she was upset about how much her husband had to drink while out to dinner with friends two days prior. She attempted to speak with him about the incident and Rob began video-taping the conversation with his iPhone, the report stated.
She explained that it bothered her and that the conversation was personal and she told him to stop. She tried to grab the phone and Rob threw her to the ground, according to the report. Rob then kept telling her to get up and when she did get up, he proceeded to choke her until she almost passed out, the report stated.
She said the choking occurred while she was facing the wall, and Rob, who is an ex-Marine, had his right arm around her neck, police said. Ashley began hitting him in the head with a portable phone. At this point the nanny came downstairs and Rob ordered her back up, the report said. Ashley asked her to stay, because she was scared of Rob after he had choked her and thrown her to the ground.
The incident ended, Ashley said, when Rob said things have gotten out of hand and they needed to calm down. Ashley gave police a sworn written statement that was submitted to police, although she later retracted it, claiming the pair had a difficult week and they were both intoxicated and upset which made her exaggerate the event. She said she also couldn’t remember if she was thrown to the ground or she merely fell, the report stated.
She said she thought Rob was trying to take the phone from her so she wouldn’t be able call police, which he thought was unnecessary. Police told her that interfering with an emergency call is illegal, but she claimed ignorance of that law. She also said she felt Rob wasn’t trying to avoid calling police to prevent getting into trouble.
Ashley then retracted her statement of Rob choking her, changing her story to say he was only trying to get the phone from her, adding that the struggle may have ended with his arms inadvertently around her neck, the report stated. She showed police bruises on her right elbow and at least two on her forearm, which police said were consistent with injuries as a result of a person’s arm being grabbed by someone else, according to the report. Police said they also have photos of the incident.
They both admitted to being under the influence of alcohol when they fought and when they reported it to police, the report stated.
Other media reports, including quotes from Ashley’s mother and brother, indicate a long and allegedly violent relationship, and that Ashely could be living in fear. Some have said Rob even threatened to kill his 7-year-old son and Ashley if she ever left him.
Rob resigned from his position with CBS on Wednesday, two days after The Darien Times reported the incident. Ashley still works for CBS MoneyWatch.