Former UCLA basketball player Reeves Nelson has filed a $10 million lawsuit against Sports Illustrated and staff writer George Dohrmann in response to an article published in March that portrayed Nelson as a cancer in the program who bullied and hurt teammates before being dismissed from the team, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.
Attorney Keith Fink told the Times the suit alleges defamation, false light and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Fink said the suit was filed now partly because Nelson had "a one-year statute of limitations for a defamation claim," and partly because the NBA draft is coming up in June. Nelson still hopes to play professionally.
The lawsuit includes statements from 18 UCLA players and ex-players who deny the allegations made against Nelson, according to TMZ.com. Fink told TMZ he can prove Dohrmann "recklessly and negligently failed to investigate the claims in the article."
One of the claims made in the article is that Nelson urinated on teammate Tyler Honeycutt's clothes, but in the lawsuit Honeycutt said Nelson "certainly did not urinate on my clothes."
After being dismissed by UCLA in December, Nelson played five weeks for a pro team in Lithuania before being released.