Brandi Passante unveiled a new tattoo on social media today. The Storage Wars star had the word “free” written on her finger. And a tiny blackbird emerges from the last letter. According to Passante, a lot of fans have asked if the ink is an artistic tribute to the song Free Bird—and the answer is no. The drawing is actually a tribute to Passante’s escape from domestic violence.
Passante and her now ex, Jarrod Schultz, were regulars on A&E’s Storage Wars since the show began in 2010. The two seemed to be a strong couple. But when season 12 premiered in April, Passante told the cameras that she and Schultz broke up.
It was later revealed that Schultz and Passante had split two years prior. And they continued playing the part of a happy couple for the show. Storage Wars fans often mistook the two for husband and wife. But they were never married. And once the breakup went public, both bidders remained on the series, but they no longer worked as a team.
Then in May, headlines broke the news that Passante was charging her ex Jarrod Schultz with domestic violence. The incident that sparked the arrest happened at an Orange County bar. Passante was with a group of friends when Schultz arrived. The two began arguing. And when Passante asked Schultz to leave, he allegedly began yelling and shoving her. Schultz denied the allegations, and he has since asked the court to dismiss his case.
Brandi Passante Commemorates the Day She Left Her ‘Storage Wars’ Co-Star
With October being National Domestic Violence month, Brandi Passante decided to start a conversation about her newest tattoo. In an Instagram post, she explained that many fans misunderstand its meaning.
The artwork symbolizes a free bird, which many people associate with Lynard Skynard’s 1977 hit. And Brandi admits that she’s a fan of the single, but it has nothing to do with her tattoo.
“I do love this song!” she captioned next to a picture of the ink. “But, this tattoo means so much more. To me, it means that somehow, by the grace of god, I managed to escape a very difficult situation, that so many people fall victim to.”
She then explained that she’s “eternally grateful” to no longer live in fear. And she wanted to memorialize the decision to leave the relationship and get her life back.
“I am also grateful for the empathy and grace that I am able to give others as a result of the things that I have endured!” she added. “I love you all & thank you for all the support!””