Lawyer: Roethlisberger accuser e-mails absolve QB
PITTSBURGH — A former Nevada casino worker who accused Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of rape in a civil lawsuit should drop the case because her own e-mails and text messages prove she wasn’t assaulted, his attorney said.
The woman “should abandon her lawsuit immediately and admit that Ben Roethlisberger did not rape her,” Roethlisberger’s attorney W. David Cornwell said in a statement e-mailed to The Associated Press. “We believe that (the woman’s) own words directly refute the scurrilous allegations made in her complaint.”
The woman contends in the lawsuit filed last month in Washoe County District Court in Reno, Nev., that Roethlisberger raped her in his room at Harrah’s in Lake Tahoe in July 2008 when he was there to play in a celebrity golf tournament.
The woman never went to authorities; her lawsuit says she didn’t file a criminal complaint because she feared Harrah’s would side with Roethlisberger and she would be fired. She also accused Harrah’s officials of orchestrating a cover-up.
Cornwell provided the AP and other news outlets with 18 pages of e-mails and texts purportedly between the 31-year-old woman and a male friend.
Cornwell wouldn’t say Wednesday how he obtained the e-mails and texts, but said he has a “good faith basis” to believe they are legitimate. Some of the e-mails were sent within a day of the alleged attack, including some just a couple of hours later, Cornwell said.
In an e-mail two days before the alleged rape, the woman tells her friend that she has been chosen to take care of the resort’s celebrity guests, including Roethlisberger, Cornwell said. She also tells him that he and the quarterback look alike.
On July 12, less than 24 hours after the alleged rape, the woman writes about how much she has enjoyed entertaining the celebrities and VIPs.
“The golf tournament has been really fun … I am really excited because we are all going to see Journey tonight and that will be soooooo much fun. Speaking of which I need to head over to dinner with your lookalike and a few others before heading out,” the e-mail said, according to Cornwell.
The Associated Press does not generally identify people who say they have been sexually assaulted.
The woman’s Reno-based attorney, Calvin Dunlap, didn’t return a message left by The Associated Press on Wednesday. Cornwell wouldn’t comment beyond his e-mailed statement.
In her lawsuit, the woman said she was distraught and left work after the assault, going to cry in her pickup truck.
But in an e-mail sent from her work station two hours after the alleged attack, she sounds as if nothing has occurred, Cornwell said. “Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh I finally got away,” she writes. Nine minutes later sent him a cute note filled with mock baby talk, Cornwell said.
In text messages sent in December, the man asked her what would happen if they broke up, Cornwell said.
“I would date Ben Roethlisberger,” she answered. “hahahahah.”