Chad Johnson has just been released from jail in Florida for slapping his attorney on the ass last week -- and get this ... on his way out, he called his judge a "blessing in disguise" for throwing him back in the slammer.
It's pretty remarkable -- Chad says he's THANKFUL for the time he's had in the pokey the last week, telling reporters, "I had a lot of time to reflect. A lot of time to think about where I've been, where I am now, and where I'm going."
But the craziest part ... he says, "A lot of people have tried to get me to slow down in life. Coaches, my agent, my lawyer. And there was one person that was able to do it. And that was my judge Ms. McHugh."
He added, "Little does she know, I love her to death. Basically what she's been is a blessing in disguise."
Which is crazy because practically everyone else on the planet felt like she overreacted big time.
As for Chad's first move out of jail, he says he's beelining straight for McDonald's -- watch the video to hear his order.
To Be RELEASED
from Florida Jail Today
6/17/2013 8:05 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Chad Johnson will be a free man TODAY ... because the judge who sent his ass to jail has agreed to release the former NFL star, 1 week after the infamous butt slap.
Johnson appeared in a Florida courtroom today ... where he faced off with Judge McHugh -- the judge who tore him a new one after he slapped his attorney's ass in open court during last week's hearing.
Johnson was brought into the courtroom wearing handcuffs ... and from the moment the hearing began, the judge blasted Chad for his history of disrespectful behavior.
But after the scolding, the judge agreed to release Johnson today -- but extended his probation by one month ... meaning he won't be in the clear until October 16.
During today's hearing, the judge also revisited the 2012 domestic abuse incident involving his ex-wife Evelyn Lozada -- and said what he did to her was "horrific."
Story developing ...
Stars and Scars
You Be the Judge
6/15/2013 6:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Charlie Sheen won't be banging Farrah Abraham any time soon -- at least that's what he says. Lots of stars had lots of strife this week, so we gotta ask ...
Tapping Asses ... Sign of
6/11/2013 7:05 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Chad Johnson patted his lawyer's ass in court Monday as a sign of respect ... so claims the tapee, attorney Adam Swickle.
Swickle filed legal docs -- just obtained by TMZ -- in which he pleads with the judge to reconsider her decision to throw out Chad's plea deal and throw him in the slammer for 30 days -- all because she believed the former NFLer disrespected the court with the tap.
In the legal docs, Chad's lawyer says "Mr. Johnson has been a professional football player in the National Football League for eleven (11) years and patting another individual on the backside is viewed as a sign of respect and gratitude."
Swickle also noted that Chad was goaded into finding some form of compliment by the judge herself, who told him to thank his lawyer.
As for the judge's outrage that people in the court were laughing at the ass tap ... Swickle says, "This is not Mr. Johnson's fault and he should not be punished for the actions of third parties."
Swickle says the 30-day jail sentence is "somewhat excessive" and is asking the judge to reconsider. A hearing is set for Monday. Until then ... it's pokey time for Chad.
FL Attorney General Rips Judge
6/11/2013 2:12 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Chad Johnson did NOT deserve 30 days in jail after slapping his lawyer's butt ... so says the Attorney General of Florida who tells TMZ ... Chad's punishment doesn't fit the crime.
We asked FL Atty. Gen. Pam Bondi how she felt about Judge Kathleen McHugh throwing the book at Chad after he tapped his lawyer's butt in court yesterday ... and here's the answer we got:
"Although we never condone domestic violence, this event seems to question judicial temperament, not the subject matter before the court."
So, what does it all mean? Here's Harvey to break it down ...
Asks Judge to Reconsider
6/11/2013 11:01 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Chad Johnson has filed a motion asking the judge who jailed him Monday to reconsider her ruling ... TMZ has learned.
Adam Swickle, the lawyer whose ass was slapped by the former NFLer, filed the legal docs ... claiming Johnson meant no disrespect when he tapped the attorney on the rear.
As we previously reported ... Johnson was in court on a probation violation in his domestic violence case when the judge was about to accept a settlement that did NOT involve jail. After the ass slap, the judge tossed the settlement and threw Johnson in the pokey for 30 days.
A hearing is set for Monday. In the meantime, Johnson sits in the slammer.
Ripped By Judge
for Slapping Lawyer's Ass
6/11/2013 9:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Chad has just filed a motion asking the judge to reconsider the ruling.
10:46 AM PT -- Chad is currently at jail and is being booked.
10:30 AM PT -- We just got video of the love tap. Check it out.
7:55 AM PT -- Chad was arrested in the courtroom and has been ordered to serve 30 days in jail.
7:45 AM PT -- Chad and his attorney are back in front of the judge ... apologizing ... and desperately trying to convince the judge to accept the original terms of the deal.
Chad Johnson was just kicked out of a Florida courtroom ... after the former NFL star playfully slapped his male lawyer's ass -- a move that ENRAGED the judge, TMZ has learned.
Johnson was in court in Broward County, FL to face the judge for his recent probation violation in his domestic violence case.
During the hearing, the judge and Chad's lawyer were about to finalize the terms of Chad's punishment -- terms that were pretty favorable to Chad.
But the whole thing fell apart at the last minute, when the judge asked Chad if he was satisfied with his attorney -- and the ex-NFL star reached back and playfully slapped his lawyer's ass.
Chad smiled ... the court erupted with laughter .... but the judge wasn't amused.
In fact, the judge found the move disrespectful -- and lashed out at Johnson ... asking him if the whole proceeding was a "joke" to him.
Johnson replied, "I had no intent to make this a joke, because my life is in shambles right now."
The judge -- who lost her patience -- suddenly announced that Chad's deal was OFF ... and kicked him out of the courtroom.
Story developing ...
Pacman Jones vs. Chad Johnson
WHO'D YOU RATHER?
6/10/2013 1:30 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Pacman Jones (29) and former Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson (35) have both found themselves on the wrong side of the law in the past 24 hours.
Ordered to 30 Days in Jail
6/10/2013 9:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Chad Johnson was just arrested and placed in handcuffs inside a Florida courtroom ... after the judge in his probation violation hearing ordered the ex-NFL star to spend 30 days in jail.
The move comes after Johnson pissed off the Broward County judge by slapping his male lawyer's butt during the hearing.
As we previously reported, Johnson's attorney was thiiiis close to sealing a deal that would have kept Johnson OUT of jail for violating his probation earlier this year.
But the butt slap enraged the judge ... and she took the deal off the table.
Now, Johnson's punishment is much harsher than what was originally proposed -- and he has been ordered to spend 30 days in jail.
His probation was also extended until December 21, 2013 ... and he must complete an additional 25 hours of community service along with extra therapy sessions.
Story developing ...