Charlie LeDuff’s domestic violence case dropped after his wife refuses to testify

click to enlarge Charlie LeDuff’s mugshot after he was arrested for allegedly assaulting his wife in December 2023. - Pleasant Ridge Police

Pleasant Ridge Police

Charlie LeDuff’s mugshot after he was arrested for allegedly assaulting his wife in December 2023.

Polarizing reporter and best-selling author Charlie LeDuff dodged a conviction for allegedly assaulting his wife in December after she refused to testify against him at a trial Tuesday.

Judge Jaimie Powell Horowitz dismissed a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence in 45th District Court in Oak Park.

LeDuff’s wife, who was subpoenaed to testify, invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, saying she was the aggressor, according to LeDuff’s attorney Todd Perkins.

“She admitted that she had been drinking,” Perkins tells Metro Times. “She said that he had not done anything that made her feel threatened or anything like that.”

His wife said she was angry that LeDuff arrived late to their Pleasant Ridge home, and she pushed him, according to Perkins.

Police alleged Charlie LeDuff was the aggressor.

Without the key witness willing to testify, the judge dismissed the case.

In a statement to Metro Times, Perkins said he was “happy for Charlie and his wife.” LeDuff’s bond barred him from living with his wife at their home. Now that the case has been dismissed, he is able to return.

“I know his separation from his family has been very difficult for him, as I am confident that his family felt similarly,” Perkins said. “Having been dutifully mindful of the court’s orders, he has been unable for almost five months to speak with his best friend. I thank him for trusting me to help him and represent him through this difficult time.”

It wasn’t the first time LeDuff’s wife claimed he had assaulted her. Shortly after midnight in July 2009, LeDuff’s wife called 911, and the operator heard screams in the background before the phone hung up.

When police arrived, the officer said LeDuff’s wife had scratches and slight swelling to her right eye, blood around her nose and left arm, and abrasions on her forehead, lip, and arm, according to a police report obtained by Metro Times.

LeDuff recounted his version of the incident in his 2014 best-selling book, Detroit: An American Autopsy.

LeDuff claimed he “smeared pizza” on his wife’s face after she said she was tired of hearing about murder victims he had been writing about. LeDuff wrote that he told his wife that his reporting was “putting pizza in your fat mouth.”

After she told him to fuck off, LeDuff wrote, “I jumped out of my chair, took her by the wrist and smeared the pizza in her face. She slapped me.”

She dialed 911, and “then, like a spoiled sorority girl, hung up the phone,” LeDuff wrote.

According to LeDuff, the pizza sauce resembled blood, prompting police to falsely believe he assaulted his wife.

The police report provided a different account. When officers asked LeDuff’s wife about the abrasions and blood, she told them she had cut herself shaving. There was no mention of pizza sauce.

According to police, LeDuff’s wife, who was crying, denied being assaulted and said they were just having an argument, adding, “he’s a great guy.”

Metro Times couldn’t reach LeDuff or his wife for comment.

After his arrest in December, LeDuff stopped airing his weekly podcast, No Bullshit News Hour. It’s unclear if he plans to resume it.

But until recently, LeDuff had remained active on X, pushing a right-wing narrative about immigration and the economy. He hasn’t posted since May 4.

In October 2023, LeDuff was fired from his job as a columnist at the Detroit News after using a vulgar, coded phrase aimed at Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. In a social media post, LeDuff wrote to Nessel, “See you next Tuesday,” a backronym for the word “cunt.” It’s often written, “C U Next Tuesday.”

The domestic violence allegations aren’t his only run-ins with the law. In 2013, LeDuff was accused of urinating in public, biting a security guard at a Saint Patrick’s Day party, and calling three policewomen “whores.”

In 2001, LeDuff won a Pulitzer Prize for a series of stories for The New York Times.

After 12 years at The New York Times, LeDuff took a reporting job at the Detroit News, where details in some of his stories were called into question. In one story that made national news, LeDuff accused Detroit police of failing to respond to his call about a dead body discovered lodged in ice in an abandoned warehouse. Metro Times and the Detroit Free Press both published stories contradicting LeDuff’s accounts of what happened.

In October 2010 LeDeuff left the Detroit News to join Fox 2 (WJBK), where he was known for using bizarre antics to report on serious issues, making him a household name. His show The Americans with Charlie LeDuff was syndicated on Fox stations across the country, reaching even more viewers.

In 2011, a Detroit police officer sued LeDuff over two of his Detroit News stories that claimed she moonlighted as a stripper and danced at the long-rumored, never-proven party by then-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick at the Manoogian Mansion. In the lawsuit, which was eventually dismissed, Officer Paytra Williams alleged LeDuff got facts wrong in the story and disputed that she moonlighted as a stripper.

LeDuff left Fox 2 in November 2016.

LeDuff wrote two critically acclaimed books, Detroit: An American Autopsy (2013) and Shitshow!: The Country’s Collapsing and the Ratings Are Great (2018).

In October 2018, LeDuff launched The No BS News Hour, where he built a conservative following by attacking Democrats and taking a hardline position against immigration and President Joe Biden’s administration. He frequently appeared on Fox News and podcasts hosted by far-right conservatives.

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