Exploring the Troubled Relationship Between Johnny Manziel and Colleen Crowley

Johnny Manziel's ex-girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, has been candid about their alleged abusive relationship. Read on for further details.

Allison DeGrushe - Author

Aug. 8 2023, Published 1:20 p.m. ET

Johnny Manziel and Colleen Crowley
Source: Instagram

The Gist:

  • Former NFL quarterback Johnny Manziel and Colleen Crowley dated for two years before breaking up in December 2015.
  • Manziel allegedly hit Colleen on multiple occasions and threatened to kill her. She said she was "fearful for [her] life."
  • Manziel was indicted by a Dallas grand jury on misdemeanor assault charges, but entered a plea agreement that required him to undergo counseling and have his conduct monitored by prosecutors for up to a year.

Content warning: This article mentions suicide and allegations of domestic violence.

Despite his success on the football field, former NFL quarterback Johnny Manziel's career was overshadowed by his off-field controversies. He was released by the Cleveland Browns in 2015, and after further controversies during the 2016 offseason, Manziel was not signed by another team in the league.

Article continues below advertisement

Most of the Heisman Trophy winner's controversies pertained to his excessive partying and domestic disputes with his then-girlfriend, Colleen Crowley. Many fans and fellow NFL players blamed her for Manziel's downfall, arguing that her assault claims against him were unreliable and false.

Read on to learn more about Johnny Manziel and Colleen Crowley's relationship.

Johnny Manziel in the Netflix docuseries, 'Untold: Johnny Football.'
Source: Netflix
Article continues below advertisement

Johnny Manziel and Colleen Crowley had a toxic relationship.

Johnny and Colleen were first seen together at a Drake concert in June 2014 and very quickly became attached at the hip. The TCU alum stayed by Manziel's side and offered him support during his 10-week rehab stint in early 2015, but by the end of the year, things took a turn for the worse in their relationship.

On Oct. 12, 2015, Manziel was pulled over by police for fighting with Colleen in his car. Dashcam video showed Colleen trying to open the passenger side door while the white Nissan was speeding. The official report claimed the two were arguing, and Colleen threw Manziel's wallet out of the window (that's why he pulled over).

Article continues below advertisement

Colleen told authorities that Manziel shoved her head into the car window and hit her a few times. The police found a small cut on her arm, which they say was from the former superstar QB trying to keep her in the car. They asked her if she was afraid of Manziel or thought he could cause her physical harm, but Colleen said, "No, he was fine."

Although no charges were made, Manziel told police he was drinking earlier that day.

Article continues below advertisement

After dating for two years, Manziel and Colleen broke up in December 2015. They reunited in late January 2016, when Manziel allegedly beat her again. According to a Fort Worth police report obtained by ESPN, Manziel allegedly hit his ex-girlfriend several times at Hotel ZaZa in downtown Dallas.

The pair left the hotel shortly after, and Manziel drove them to Colleen's apartment. Colleen told officers that she and Manziel shouted angrily at each other during the drive, adding that he hit her several more times. After he forced her into his car, Manziel threatened to kill her and himself.

Article continues below advertisement

The two eventually made it to her car in front of a Dallas bar; Manziel got into the driver's seat and started to back out, and Colleen recalled opening her door and jumping out. She tried to hide, later accusing Manziel of chasing her down, throwing her into the car, and hitting her left ear.

Article continues below advertisement

"Fearful for my life, I hit [Manziel] several times, hoping I could back out of the car," she said, adding that he "threw me off of him, and I hit my head on the car window, and I fell into the passenger floorboard."

Colleen also argued that Manziel hit her so hard that she lost hearing in one ear: "He hit me with his open hand on my left ear for jumping out of the car. I realized immediately that I could not hear out of that ear."

Article continues below advertisement

When they arrived at her apartment, Colleen said she was "extremely scared" and fearful for her life. She grabbed a knife to protect herself, and once Manziel left, she went to her neighbor's for help.

In April 2016, Manziel was indicted by a Dallas grand jury on misdemeanor assault charges. But, on Dec. 2, 2016, the disgraced former NFL star and prosecutors finalized a plea agreement that required him to undergo counseling and have his conduct monitored by prosecutors for up to a year.

Article continues below advertisement

Colleen said she was "lucky to have survived" her relationship with Manziel.

During a 2018 interview with The New York Post, Colleen addressed her relationship with Manziel. She said she was surprised by her reaction to the first time he hit her, stating that she felt the need to defend and protect him.

Colleen said that when she and Manziel would argue (which was often), she would "[lock] myself in a closet or a room or a bathroom just to get him away from me. I felt like I didn’t have control over my own body. It was aggressive." He would also take her phone away when they fought and "smashed" four of her phones.

Regarding the January 2016 incident, Colleen told the outlet she was "completely deaf in one ear for three and a half months." She added, "I was lucky to have survived. I fought for my life that night."

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

More from Distractify

Latest NFL News and Updates

    Opt-out of personalized ads

    © Copyright 2023 Distractify. Distractify is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.