TODAY   |  June 18, 2013

Chad Johnson free after apologizing for tush tap

After a week in jail, the former football player came before the judge who sentenced him to 30 days for slapping his lawyer on the backside in court to apologize and call her “a blessing in disguise.” NBC’s Mark Potter reports.

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>> thank you. chad johnson is a freeman this morning after a judge shortened his 30-day jail term for slapping his lawyer on the backside in open court . here's mark potter with the story.

>> reporter: after a week in jail he came back to face the judge and seemed most contrite.

>> i wanted to apologize for disrespecting your courtroom.

>> reporter: earlier this month, the former nfl player angered the broward county circuit court judge.

>> is there something funny about what's going on here today.

>> during a probation hearing for a violence hearing against his former wife, he slapped his attorney on the backside.

>> i'm going to accept the plea negotiation.

>> reporter: she sentenced him to 30 days in jail but after his apology on monday let him go but gave him a lecture.

>> in my opinion you threw that gift away. i find that that's an arrogant disregard for a court order but in the end she softened.

>> you appear to be contrite and sincere in your apology.

>> once again free he praised the judge. i love her to death but what she has been is a blessing in disguise .

>> a blessing he says for actually giving him time to reflect. for today, mark potter , nbc news, miami.