BJ Penn, one of the most popular fighters in UFC history, is being accused of years of abuse by the mother of his children.
Shelean Uaiwa, Penn’s estranged girlfriend, filed for a temporary restraining order against Penn last October, which was granted in February, per online Hawaii family court records. The restraining order runs through 2021, sources confirmed with MMA Fighting. Penn can only see the two children he has with Uaiwa under supervision, pending a June hearing in which Penn is seeking custody.
MMAjunkie was the first to report the news. Penn, 40, is currently scheduled to fight Clay Guida at UFC 237 on May 11 in Brazil. The UFC did not return a request for comment about the situation Wednesday.
Penn has not been arrested, nor charged with a crime.
The incident that apparently spurred Uaiwa to file for the order happened Oct. 7, 2018, according to her written account, which was published in full by MMAjunkie. Uaiwa wrote that when she and her mother went to pick up her kids, she was confronted by Penn, who verbally abused her and her mother. She wrote that Penn made it “hard” for them to get out of the driveway and made it seem “like he wanted to attack me and my mom through the window.”
Uaiwa wrote that Penn told her “because your [sic] not a man you think you can’t get knocked the fuck out” and threatened to kill her brother and her entire family. She wrote that their children witnessed that incident and Penn trying to “wrestle me down and take my phone away.”
Two days later, Uaiwa filed for the temporary restraining order. Penn and Uaiwa have been estranged for some time and Uaiwa is in a relationship with another man, sources said.
Uaiwa went on to write that Penn had verbally and physically abused her “for years.” Once, he hit her in the back of the head and, when he was drunk once, he backhanded her. Penn “tried to wrestle me to the ground” on several occasions, she wrote.
There was also sexual abuse, Uaiwa wrote. Penn allegedly tried to get her to have sex with other men, she wrote. Uaiwa wrote that Penn would get high on drugs and verbally abuse her if she did not have sex with him.
“I have not reported any of these incidents because of his name, reputation, the control he has had over my life and I was scared,” Uaiwa wrote.
Uaiwa also accused Penn of drug abuse and being a “drug addict” since he was 14 years old. She wrote that he uses his MMA training camps to try and stay sober.
“I woke up one night to him scared, because he got cocaine on my oldest daughter,” Uaiwa wrote. “He was freaking out and he wanted to commit suicide.”
In July 2015, when Penn was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame, Uaiwa wrote that he did cocaine with his friends in the room adjacent to her and their children. That night, she wrote, Penn attacked her, shattered her phone and verbally abused her.
Uaiwa wrote that these incidents mentioned are just the recent ones.
“I feel fearful for my safety and my [childrens’ lives], and for the influence he has over my children,” she wrote.
A request for comment sent to John Schmidtke Jr., one of Penn’s lawyers, was not returned Wednesday. Schmidtke told MMAjunkie that the court records had “incomplete information” and he didn’t know why the court did not release the rest of the documents. He said he could not comment on the case “by law” because it involves children.
Penn, nicknamed “The Prodigy,” is a former two-division UFC champion and regarded as one of the best UFC fighters of all time. He retired in 2014 and was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame the next year. But Penn returned in 2017 and has lost three straight during this comeback run. Penn has not won a fight since 2010.