Mixon spoke for more than 30 minutes during his introductory news conference and subsequent interviews with reporters on Saturday. Few questions were about football. Almost every question surrounded the night in 2014 when Mixon punched a woman in the face and broke her jaw.
Mixon, who was 18 at the time of the assault, recently reached a civil settlement with the woman, Amelia Molitor. Prior to the settlement, the two met face-to-face for the first time since the night of the incident.
“I’m just glad it’s over with. She’s glad it’s over with,” Mixon said. “We both acknowledge that we made a mistake and that we’re moving forward and getting past it …
“It actually lifted a huge weight off our shoulders because we weren’t able to talk to each other and apologize. I was the initiator, for the most part. It really meant a lot to her for me to come in and acknowledge what happened that night, and she did the same thing, and I’ve got nothing but respect for that.”
Molitor issued a statement after the settlement saying that both could have handled things differently and it was time to move on.
Mixon said he has seen the surveillance video of the incident, which shows him knocking Molitor to the floor and walking away.
“It hurt to really see it, hurt to talk about it, but at the end of the day, I’m going to try to do whatever I can to move forward past the situation,” he said.
On Saturday, one Cincinnati television station posted an editorial criticizing the Bengals and saying the club had gone too far. WCPO-TV urged fans to stop buying Bengals tickets and instead donate to organizations that work to prevent violence against women.
But Bengals fans at a team-sponsored draft party at Paul Brown Stadium gave Mixon a warm and enthusiastic welcome. He said he knows the response from fans will be mixed.
Although the civil suit is behind him, Mixon said he understands that does not close the door on what happened. He said he understands that the stigma surrounding him will never go away.
“It will definitely be over my head for the rest of my life. I’ve got to live with it,” he said. “At the end of the day, I’ve just got to do my best moving forward.”
Added coach Marvin Lewis on Friday: “I think for the past three years he’s had to live on the head of a pin. Everything he’s done comes under the microscope. He understands that. I think every day moving forward he lives under that same microscope.”