Raleigh CrossFit and ‘Big Brother’ star Ab­bott faces felony charge in Flor­ida

The Herald Sun - - Local - BY BROOKE CAIN bcain@new­sob­server.com

For­mer “Big Brother” star Christ­mas Ab­bott, a com­pet­i­tive CrossFit ath­lete and owner of CrossFit In­voke gym in Raleigh, was ar­rested in Tampa, Flor­ida, in Au­gust for an at­tack aimed at a woman who was hav­ing a re­la­tion­ship with the father of Ab­bott’s then-un­born baby.

Ab­bott, 8 months preg­nant at the time, was ar­rested on Aug. 18 af­ter re­peat­edly ram­ming her Mercedes SUV into a parked Honda sedan owned by Saman­tha Jane Morse of Tampa. Ab­bott was charged with crim­i­nal mis­chief greater than $1,000, a third-de­gree felony.

Ac­cord­ing to a po­lice re­port ob­tained by The News & Ob­server, Ab­bott went to a CrossFit gym on 24th Street in Tampa on Satur­day, Aug. 18, to con­front Morse. She asked Morse if she was in­volved with Ben­jamin Bunn, a fit­ness trainer who is the father of Ab­bott’s child. When Morse asked her to leave, Ab­bott threw Morse’s iced cof­fee across the room and called her a “pa­thetic home-wreck­ing lit­tle slut,” the po­lice re­port said.

Morse also told po­lice that Ab­bott screamed at Bunn, who was present. Bunn is the owner of the Cigar City CrossFit where the en­counter took place.

Ab­bott, 36, left the gym and an eye­wit­ness saw Ab­bott, in her SUV, strike the sedan and then place the SUV in re­verse and strike the sedan again, ac­cord­ing to the po­lice re­port.

Ar­rest­ing of­fi­cer John Gor­don wrote in his re­port that when he ar­rived at the scene, Ab­bott was stand­ing out­side across from the gym and waved him down. When he asked her what hap­pened, he said Ab­bott started cry­ing and told him that she just “lost it” and crashed into the car be­cause the owner of the car was cheat­ing with her child’s father.

Ab­bott was taken to the Ori­ent Road Jail in Tampa but not pro­cessed there be­cause of her preg­nancy. The case was filed with the state at­tor­ney’s of­fice. Ab­bott was booked on Nov. 6 and re­leased on her own re­cog­ni­zance.

Peo­ple Mag­a­zine re­ported that Ab­bott’s baby boy, Loyal At­ti­cus Ab­bott, was born on Oct. 8 in South Carolina.

Of­fi­cer Gor­don said that Ab­bott, who had a North Carolina driver’s li­cense, screamed at the vic­tim dur­ing the in­ter­view on Aug. 18, and that he had to warn her sev­eral times to calm down. He said she was “flail­ing her hands” and at times she would cry. The of­fi­cer said he was afraid she would “go into a fit of rage” so he grabbed her right hand and told her she would be placed in hand­cuffs if she con­tin­ued.

Gor­don wrote: “The sus­pect apol­o­gized for her out­burst and com­pli­ance was im­me­di­ately gained. The sus­pect told me that it hurt her feel­ings be­ing cheated on.”

Ab­bott’s Mercedes SUV, which has North Carolina plates, was seized and a for­fei­ture was placed on it.

AB­BOTT MOVED TO TAMPA FOR BABY’S FATHER

In an in­ter­view with The News & Ob­server in May, Ab­bott said she and Bunn started dat­ing in Oc­to­ber 2017, but had met the year be­fore at a char­ity event. Bunn is a for­mer Army para­trooper and a CrossFit ath­lete.

“We were just kind of

friends for a long time and then started dat­ing,” Ab­bott said at the time. “We’re both kind of sur­prised by this and we have the same goals and as­pi­ra­tions for this, and that is to be amaz­ing par­ents, to have an awe­some, healthy, lov­ing re­la­tion­ship, and make this our own jour­ney and not have to con­form to tra­di­tional ex­pec­ta­tions.”

Ab­bott re­lo­cated from Raleigh to Tampa, but said she was re­turn­ing to Raleigh “about once a month” for busi­ness.

Ab­bott is the author of two CrossFit books and was one of three fi­nal­ists in Sea­son 19 of the CBS re­al­ity show “Big Brother.” She badly broke her foot in the sec­ond episode of the sea­son – 10 bro­ken bones, four dis­lo­cated bones and a lig­a­ment that had to be re­con­structed. Sur­geons had to use a donor bone in one place, and Ab­bott was told she would not re­gain full mo­bil­ity, ef­fec­tively end­ing her com­pet­i­tive CrossFit ca­reer.

Be­fore “Big Brother,” Ab­bott worked as a civil­ian con­trac­tor in Iraq in 2004, started CrossFit train­ing in 2006 and be­came the first woman to work in a NASCAR pit crew in 2012.

Christ­mas Joy Ab­bott

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