B.J. Penn’s team has released a statement in the wake of abuse allegations levied against Penn by his estranged girlfriend.
On Wednesday, news surfaced that Shelean Uaiwa, the mother of Penn’s children, had filed for and been granted a restraining order against Penn that extends until 2021.
In a court filing first reported by MMA Junkie, Uaiwa claims that Penn had verbally, physically and sexually abused her for years. Penn, a UFC Hall of Famer, has not been arrested nor charged with a crime.
Penn’s team released a statement Thursday, via his BJPenn.com website.
“BJ is in a highly-contested child custody case involving his two young daughters,” the statement read. “The order of protection has made serious allegations against BJ. The allegations are so, misleading, hurtful and false that any further comment by BJ or about BJ would cause more damage to the well-being of his children and potentially further inflame the pending custody proceedings. BJ and his family ask that you respect their privacy at this very difficult time.”
Uaiwa has full custody of their two children, pending a June hearing. Penn can currently only see the kids under supervision. In the filing, Uaiwa accused Penn of striking her on several occasions, menacing her mother and threatening to kill her brother and entire family. Uaiwa wrote that Penn has been a drug addict since he was 14 years old and once wanted to commit suicide when he got cocaine on their oldest daughter. She wrote that she has not gone public until now because of Penn’s “name, reputation, the control he has had over my life and I was scared.”
“I feel fearful for my safety and my [childrens’ lives], and for the influence he has over my children,” she wrote.
Penn, 40, is scheduled to fight Clay Guida at UFC 237 on May 11 in Brazil. The UFC has not returned a request for comment on this matter. Penn was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2015. A former two-division UFC champion, the Hawaii native is regarded as one of the top fighters in the history of the sport.