Michael Vick's ex-girlfriend has detailed how the dog-fighting quarterback allegedly neglected an exotic bird to its death and left another pet, a cockatoo, so malnourished that it had to be rescued.
RadarOnline.com broke the story: An Atlanta-based woman, who goes by the nom de plume Bella Escritor, is penning a tell-all book about her decade-long romance with the 33-year-old Philadelphia Eagles star, who served 19 months in jail for owning and operating an illegal ring.
Now, in an exclusive excerpt of the book, Escritor revealed how Vick, 33, simply forgot to move his pet bird, named Junior, from one home to another -- he later discovered the exotic breed, dead, at the bottom of its cage.
He "had treated Junior like he was just another piece of furniture that they could just set aside and move at a later date," the woman wrote in the tell-all, titled Quarterback Keeper.
In a second incident, Escritor alleged Vick recklessly starved his pet cockatoo, named Crystal, for more than a week while he traveled interstate.
"She Crystal was making this awful sound like her throat was on fire," she recounted in a chapter of the expose provided to Radar.
"Mike noticed the sound as well and couldn't figure out what was wrong with her. I then decided to open her cage and get a closer look at her to make sure she wasn't hurt.
"When I placed Crystal on my arm, I noticed that her food and water bowls were empty. I then immediately got her some water and asked Mike when was the last time she had anything to eat or drink. He said he had no idea and that he hadn't fed her since he left town over a week ago.
"I then left and went to Walgreens to get her some food. I decided then that I needed to keep an even closer eye on Crystal from now on because she was not going to die on my watch."
Eventually, as it emerged he was facing jail time for dogfighting, Vick gave Crystal to Escritor.
The woman also provided Radar with a jailhouse letter from Vick addressed to her, postmarked Leavenworth, a federal prison in Kansas, from inmate No. 33765-183 — Vick’s identification — in which the disgraced athlete talked about wanting to reclaim ownership of the cockatoo when he was released.
"I'm coming to get the bird back when I get home," he wrote.
"You seem like you taking good care of her. You better. That bird cost me $2300."
When he was sprung from behind bars in May, 2009, to home confinement in Virginia, Escritor said she flew Crystal to see Vick but "once he witness how close we had become," the footballer allowed her to keep the cockatoo.
But not all Vick's pet birds were as lucky as Crystal, like Junior, as Escritor wrote:
When I met Mike he owned a bird named Junior. Junior would run around his mansion freely. I was so impressed with the way Junior spoke and just how clearly he did. I had never been that up close and personal to an exotic bird before outside of the zoo. Over time, Junior came to greet me by name and so I would always go out of my way to exchange greetings with Junior. Junior would follow me around, so much so that I fell in love with this adorable little pet.
Mike decided that the home he lived in at the time was too small for someone of his stature. So he purchased a home in the same neighborhood that was more suitable to the growing size of his bank account. It didn't take long for Mike to move out of one house and into the other. Two weeks after Mike moved into to his new mansion, he invited me over to see it. It was beautiful. Mike told me that his mother was responsible for decorating the place. When I walked into the living room area I noticed a new bird cage that held two birds at one time. That is the day I met Crystal. She was beautiful and very intelligent. She kept saying things like, 'I love you Crystal' and 'Shut the f*ck up'. I figured she picked up the cursing from being next to the living room TV's that were constantly on the rap video channel.
After admiring Mike's new pet purchase, I noticed that I did not see Junior walking around anywhere. So I asked where Junior was. That's when Mike looked at me like a person does when they are going to tell you some really bad news. Mike then told me that he was in Virginia for the past two weeks and when he came back he noticed Junior was gone as well. So he asked all of the guys that he lived with where Junior was. No-one could tell him and no-one seemed to care.
Mike then told me that he hadn't moved everything out of the old house and when he went back over there to check on things, Junior was still there and in his bird cage, dead. They had treated Junior like he was just another piece of furniture that they could just set aside and move at a later date. I felt bad for Junior and informed Mike that if he ever needed help with his new birds that I would be more than willing to lend a hand. He told me that because he was an Atlanta Falcon player, fans were always trying to give him birds, and so Junior was no big loss. There was nothing I could do for Junior at that point so I focused my attention on helping to protect the new birds from suffering the same neglectful fate."
Accepting "full responsibility" for his role in a dogfighting ring, Vick plead guilty in 2007 to federal conspiracy charges under the weight of pressure as three associates prepared to testify that he brutally executed dogs and bankrolled gambling.