Kurt Busch's Ex Seeks No-contact Order at Hearing, Testimony to - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Kurt Busch's Ex Seeks No-contact Order at Hearing, Testimony to Continue Wednesday

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Kurt Busch in Kent County Kurt Busch in Kent County

DOVER, Del. (WBOC/AP) - NASCAR driver Kurt Busch's breakup with his ex-girlfriend turned into an ugly court battle Tuesday.

Patricia Driscoll spent an entire tear-filled day on the witness stand in Kent County Family Court.

Driscoll wants the court to order Busch to stay away from her and have no contact with her. WBOC was in the courtroom all day for the hearing on that request.

Neither Driscoll nor Busch had any comment for the media outside the courthouse in Dover.

But inside the courtroom Driscoll had a lot to stay. She spent six hours on the witness stand.

Driscoll broke down in tears multiple times as she described the day she and Busch broke up and an alleged assault a week later inside his motorhome at Dover International Speedway.

"He grabbed me by the throat and by the face and smashed my head into the wall three times," she said.

Her attorney presented photos Driscoll took of her injuries.

"i don't know why he snapped like that," she said. "i don't what he's capable of doing next."

Busch's national-known attorney Rusty Hardin suggested that whatever happened the night of Sept. 26 could have been prevented had Driscoll left when Busch told her to.

"I am not to blame for him putting his hands on me," said Driscoll.

The alleged assault happened in late September. But Driscoll didn't file a complaint with Dover PD or file for the protective order until early November. She says she waited because she didn't know what impact saying something would have on a custody battle with her ex-husband over her now-10-year-old son.

During a heated cross-examination, Hardin, painted Driscoll a jilted lover, as a person with extreme media savvy who, after she and Busch broke up, wanted to, and knew how to, destroy his career.

She described him in court as unstable, suicidal and struggling with alcoholism.

"Why don't you just call a press conference and say every bad thing you can about him?" Hardin asked her.

Hardin also looked to convince the family court commissioner at the hearing the protection from abuse order was unnecessary because he says, aside from texting between the two, Busch has stayed away from Driscoll of his own accord since late September and, he says, has not been physically threatening toward her.

Busch's legal team has denied the assault allegations against him. Dover police continue a criminal investigation into the incident. So far, no charges have been filed.

Driscoll testified that she became concerned about Busch a week before the race in Dover after the couple fought following a race in New Hampshire. She said he also became violent after the New Hampshire race. Defense attorneys said Busch told her then that their relationship was over, but that she refused to accept that the couple had permanently split.

Driscoll said she tried to contact Busch's mom shortly after the New Hampshire incident, concerned that Busch, 36, was drinking and struggling with depression. Busch, she said during testimony, would sometimes "drink himself to death" but later re-emerge from his stupor to seek forgiveness.

Driscoll, who said the couple fought often but would always make up, said that on the night the alleged assault, she and Busch exchanged text messages. Busch told her he was laying on the floor of his motorhome crying and that the world was "crashing down" on him, she said.

"I was really worried," she said. "... Kurt's not the kind of person to be laying on the floor crying.... He was obviously hurting."

Driscoll said she and her son drove to Dover, thinking they might be able to comfort Busch.

Driscoll said that after she let herself into the motorhome using the key code, she and Busch began arguing in whispered tones in his bedroom while her son watched TV several feet away. Busch, she said, began railing about his crew members and fellow drivers on the Stewart-Haas Racing team. She said he was angry at Tony Stewart for an August crash at an upstate New York track in which Stewart's sprint car struck and killed another driver, and that Kevin Harvick, who went on to win this year's Sprint Cup championship and driver of the year honors, was "getting everything" while Busch was "getting nothing."

"He seemed just out of his mind, just saying crazy things.... He just kept going off about the team," Driscoll said. Then, without warning, Busch jumped up, grabbed her neck with one hand and her face with the other, and smashed her head against a wall three times, Driscoll said.

Driscoll said she fled with her son, sought aid in a nearby outreach motorhome, then drove home.

Cross-examination ended around 4:30 PM Tuesday. Redirect will pick up at 10 AM Wednesday. After Driscoll there are still four or five witnesses left to testify.

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