Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose on Thursday denied claims made in a civil lawsuit that he and two friends drugged a woman, broke into her apartment and raped her, issuing a statement asserting his innocence.
Rose sent his statement to multiple news outlets, including USA TODAY Sports:
“I am just focusing on staying healthy and getting ready for the season,” Rose said in the statement. “I am not going to comment other than to say — I know the truth, and am confident I will be proven innocent.”
A civil complaint filed Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court by a woman identified only as "Jane Doe" alleges that Rose and two of his longtime friends — Ryan Allen, the younger brother of Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen, and Randall Hampton, "Rose's best friend since grammar school," identified in a December 2014 New York Times story as his manager — committed sexual acts against her will in August 2013. From Patrick M. O'Connell of the Chicago Tribune:
The accuser met Rose at a party the basketball star hosted at his Los Angeles house during the NBA lockout in October 2011, according to the lawsuit. She was invited to the party by mutual friends. The two began a relationship a short time after the party, exchanging text messages, meeting for dinner and going out regularly. The woman said she was drawn to Rose because "he was reserved, quiet, and shy, which made him seem 'safe,'" according to the lawsuit.
In the weeks after August 2013, the woman, who worked as an administrator for a property management company, said she became paranoid that Rose was monitoring her phone calls, according to the lawsuit.
But the suit does say she was reluctant to report the incident for fear of retaliation and because she had been in a consensual relationship with Rose. Trauma from the alleged assault led to emotional turmoil for the woman, according to the lawsuit, and she lost her job.
"As a direct consequence of these unlawful acts, plaintiff has suffered severe physical injury, emotional distress including post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as economic, consequential, and other damages," the suit contends.
The lawsuit seeks "an award of money judgment for mental pain and anguish and severe emotional distress," including "a civil penalty in the sum of $25,000" and additional relief as determined by a judge.
Lisa Cohen, Rose's lawyer, denied the allegations against her client in an early Thursday morning statement detailed by Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal:
The plaintiff's allegations are completely false and without any factual basis. This is nothing more than a desperate attempt to shake down a highly respected and successful athlete. Mr. Rose was in a non-exclusive, consensual sexual relationship with the plaintiff for over two years. The plaintiff expressed no complaints about Mr. Rose until various lawyers began to surface and demand that the plaintiff be paid millions of dollars. This is the third lawyer the plaintiff has retained in this matter. Two years have passed since Mr. Rose ended the consensual relationship with the plaintiff and her claims are as meritless now as they were two years ago. We have complete confidence that the case will be dismissed and that Mr. Rose will be vindicated. This lawsuit is outrageous.
The Bulls also issued a statement early Thursday morning: "We just learned about this matter and do not know all the facts. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time."
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