Andrea Lee reflects on fallout from husband’s Nazi tattoo controversy, alleged domestic abuse
What started with a seemingly innocuous photo turned into “a whirlwind” several months for Andrea Lee – and not in a good way.
Back in early June, just weeks removed from a successful UFC debut, Lee found herself at the center of a social media firestorm after she posted a photo of herself and husband Donny Aaron together at a lake. The photo appeared innocent enough until people pointed out the swastika tattoo on Aaron’s left arm, prompting a defiant initial response from Lee and later an apology.
That was just one ordeal Lee wishes never came to be, and dealing with the fallout wasn’t easy.
“Anytime there’s something to talk about, people just love to, I guess, bring other people down,” Lee said this week during an appearance on the “Slip ‘n Dip” podcast. “Saying I’m not deserving of a UFC contract because of particular things. … It’s just crazy. But I’ve gotten through that, and I’ve gotten on to some other, more serious matters.
“That, to me, everything that’s happening between me and my husband, Donny, I didn’t want that to get out into the news like it did.”
Lee is talking about the alleged domestic violence incident between her and her husband two months later, which came to light after Lee’s friend, MMA fighter Andy Nguyen, called police to file a report. According to that report, Aaron, 43, allegedly tried to burn Lee, 29, with a cigarette and choke her during an argument on the night of Aug. 4.
Nguyen provided more disturbing details of the incident and said “the domestic violence has been going on for years” between Lee and Aaron, who have a daughter together. Lee would’ve liked everything to have remained private.
“Everybody who knows of me in the MMA community, who watches the UFC, reads the updates and stuff, and just reads all the articles, it’s embarrassing,” Lee said. “I would’ve preferred to have kept all of that my personal, private business. It’s my life, and the way that it got out in the media just kind of sucks.”
Lee also expressed disappointment specifically in Nguyen for being so open about her marriage. While she’s been put in a difficult situation for her personal life, Lee said the decisions she makes moving forward are with her daughter in mind.
“(Nguyen) did say some things that I would’ve preferred things not to have been said, because it’s just hard for me, because of my little girl,” Lee said. “Donny and I, we have a daughter together. Regardless of everything that happened, he’s still her dad. And him and I and his family, we’re still going to have to cope with each other. We’re going to get along for the sake of (our daughter). And hopefully we can be friends. I mean, I’m a forgiving person. A lot of the stuff that the media, the media they took the things that Andy said and twisted it to fit their story.”
Lee (9-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is set to make her second octagon appearance Dec. 15, when she meets Jessica-Rose Clark in a women’s flyweight bout at UFC on FOX 31 in Milwaukee. A victory over Clark (9-5 MMA, 2-1 UFC) would be a step in the right direction toward Lee’s UFC title hopes, but she’s also in no rush to get there because she has a specific idea in mind.
“If I get a win, it’ll move me into the top 10, but there are still other females that I’m going to have to get through before I get that opportunity,” said Lee, who was the inaugural LFA champion. “But that means I’m on the right track. I just got to keep winning. I don’t want a title shot anytime soon with the contract that I’m on right now. I want to be able to renegotiate my contract for the title shot. I’d like to just hold off a little bit.”