Just your classic story of an ex-NFL quarterback suing a male YouTube sensation who said they dated.
Former Pittsburgh Steelers QB Kordell Stewart won $3 million in damages in his libel lawsuit against Andrew Caldwell, a viral video personality who claimed on an Atlanta radio station in October 2015 that Stewart bought him lavish gifts and had a sexual relationship with him, according to WCNC-TV.
I can tell you need some background on this story, because I was right there with you. So, here goes:
The Internet first met Caldwell when video of him seeking deliverance from homosexuality at the Church of God In Christ hit YouTube. “I’m not gay no more,” he told the congregation. “I am delivered.”
Caldwell turned that viral video into somewhat of a career online, posting videos on various social media platforms ever since. That earned him an invite to “The ShakeUP Morning Show” in Atlanta. That’s where he said, “I dated Kordell,” from “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”
You may know him better as the former Pro Bowl quarterback who led the Steelers to a pair of AFC championship game appearances in his eight seasons in Pittsburgh. “You know doggone well he is gay,” added Caldwell.
Caldwell claimed he met Stewart at a bar, and their relationship was a “one-time thing,” even though he alleged the former NFL player bought him purses and the Jaguar he drove to the show. Caldwell also told “ShakeUP” co-hosts Alex Haynes and Mikia Jeter he dated members of the St. Louis Rams.
Stewart then sued Caldwell, Catalyst Next LLC — the parent company of the BossFM radio station that broadcasts “The ShakeUP Morning Show” — and a man named Jarrius Keyun Moon, the creator of a reality TV show entitled “The Gospel Truth” that features Caldwell. Stewart accused them of colluding to drum up interest in the show, claiming Caldwell’s allegations cost him his reputation, destroyed his marriage to “Housewives” star Porsha Williams and led to the bullying of his 9-year-old son Syre.
In the lawsuit, Stewart said he’s gone from being recognized as “Slash,” the versatile QB of one of the NFL’s flagship franchises, to being known for rumors about being gay “in a sports industry that has made homosexuality an unenviable, controversial and taboo topic,” according to the Daily Mail. He also claimed the allegations cost him public appearances that could have netted him up to $1 million.
A DeKalb (Ga.) Superior Court judge ruled in Stewart’s favor this past November, and on Friday he was awarded $3 million in a default judgment — two-thirds of the $4.5 million he sought in the lawsuit.
When Stewart first brought the lawsuit, Caldwell publicly retracted his allegations, telling TMZ Sports, “I never dated Kordell,” but he and his co-defendants failed to appear in court, resulting in the default judgment. After the judge’s ruling, Caldwell then retracted his retraction. A spokesman for the Internet personality told the Daily Mail that Caldwell was never “properly served by a court with jurisdiction,” but still “welcomes the opportunity to detail, under oath, his sexual encounter with Mr. Stewart.”
The Church of God in Christ is headquartered in Memphis, where critics have suggested the YouTube video that gave rise to Caldwell’s online popularity was a scam. Caldwell’s aunt reportedly went on a Memphis-area radio show to inform listeners her nephew suffered from bipolar disorder. Memphis-based WMC-TV also reported Caldwell was arrested for insurance fraud in May 2014.
Rumors about Stewart’s sexuality have circulated for almost two decades — a topic he addressed in his 2016 memoir “Truth: The Kordell Stewart Story.” In an excerpt published on Radar Online, he wrote of the time a friend called in 1998 to say, “A Pittsburgh cop had supposedly arrested me in Schenley Park for performing lewd acts with a transvestite. The rumor was so absurd it was almost funny.”
So, yeah, just your typical story about an ex-NFL QB going to court to declare his heterosexuality.
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