After Johnson patted his lawyer on the rear, Judge Kathleen McHugh rejected Johnson’s plea to a probation violation in the domestic violence case involving Johnson and his then-wife, Evelyn Lozada.
Johnson was arrested in May for not meeting with his probation officer and was in court Monday to enter a plea.
After he was asked if he was pleased with his attorney, the former wide receiver once known as “Chad Ochocinco” gave his lawyer, Adam Swickle, a gentle pat on the rear.
McHugh was furious when people in the audience laughed.
“There’s nothing funny about what’s going on here today,” she told Johnson.
Johnson, 35, replied that he wasn’t laughing.
Then McHugh said, “I don’t anything’s funny about it, Mr. Johnson. This isn’t a joke.”
Johnson said he didn’t do it as a joke.
Swickle agreed, saying: “I don’t know if it was done as any disrespect to the court. I don’t think he meant to get a reaction from the court room, judge.”
The judge told Johnson she wouldn’t accept a plea deal that involved only community service and more anger management counseling. Instead, she sentenced him to 30 days in jail and tacked three months onto his one-year probation, which would have ended in September.
Johnson seemed resigned to his fate.
“Love me through the good and the bad because I’m gone love you regardless… See you in 30… ” he tweeted later.
Johnson — a six-time all-star whose name Ochocinco was a Spanish wordplay on his number, 85 — last played in the NFL in 2011. He was released by the Miami Dolphins during the 2012 preseason after police said he headbutted Lozada, a reality TV star, during an argument at their home in Davie, Florida.
Johnson and the “Basketball Wives” star were divorced in September. He changed his name back to Chad Johnson after the two were married last July.