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An alleged hush-money contract and text messages between NBA star Kristaps Porzingis and the woman accusing him of rape, along with emails between the New York Knicks and his alleged victim — all obtained by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski — reveal disturbing communication that further complicates the matter for all parties.
The alleged hush-money contract
ESPN obtained a copy of an alleged contract between Porzingis and the woman that states, "This agreement effective February 7, 2018, acknowledges the fact that an unexpected escalated sexual intercourse due to an inevitable physical attraction on the part of [Porzingis] occurred subsequently, warrants compensation payable towards [the woman's] siblings college tuition in the amount of $68,000.”
The alleged agreement reportedly includes multiple misspellings of the All-Star’s name, and lawyers for Porzingis called a signature on the document “a forgery.”
"Mr. Porzingis denies signing the alleged contract, which we believe is a forgery,” attorney Roland G. Riopelle told ESPN in a statement. “When asked to produce the original contract for handwriting analysis, the complainant declined to do so.”
The 29-year-old woman reported the incident to the New York Police Department last week after Porzingis allegedly “reneged” on his agreement to pay for her brother’s college tuition, according to the New York Post. She reportedly told police that Porzingis invited her to his apartment in the hours after he tore his ACL on Feb. 6, 2018, before he allegedly “held her down and raped her.” Police officials consider the allegations both credible and “believable,” according to the New York Post.
Emails detail ‘aggressive encounter’
Per emails obtained by Wojnarowski, the woman asked the Knicks to “mediate in private” the $68,000 payment this past fall. The ESPN report said the woman called the incident in emails an “extremely aggressive encounter” during which Porzingis “repeatedly hit me.” She reportedly provided photographs of what she described as hair loss and broken nose cartilage requiring “about $10,000” in corrective surgery.
"After the extremely aggressive encounter,” the woman wrote in one email, according to Wojnarowski, “he was very apologetic, loving and caring ... hence, the offer he made to pay my (little) bro's tuition + more. ... Although how he treated me was horrendous, as a Knicks fan, I do not want him to get him in any trouble with the law. I stayed back and enjoyed the rest of the time I spent with him. It's crucial to note the fun times I had with him doesn't negate the fact that he offered to compensate me as a soothing gift even though I didn't ask him to."
Texts between Porzingis, alleged victim
A text from Porzingis to the woman on the night of the alleged rape reportedly said he was “drunk.” In a documentary about his rehab, Porzingis’ brother and agent, Janis, said they drank tequila at the apartment in a toast “to a new beginning.”
Texts from the alleged victim to the former Knicks star after the alleged rape also include explicit photos of the woman and requests “to spend intimate time with Porzingis,” according to Wojnarowski, who wrote that “the woman appeared to become increasingly frustrated” by Porzingis’ waning responsiveness via text.
What the Knicks and Mavericks knew
Per ESPN, Knicks vice president of legal affairs Jamaal Lesane, following a phone call with the woman, said in a late October email to Porzingis’ lawyers, "She went up to Porzingis' apartment with a notebook to get his autograph. Once she was inside Porzingis' apartment, 'Porzingis had his way with me without my consent.' Later, Porzingis offered her money 'when he knew was wrong.' Porzingis offered to pay the tuition for (the woman's) brother's education in the amount of $68,000."
In a statement to the New York Post on Saturday, Porzingis’ lawyer “unequivocally” denied the allegations against his client and described the $68,000 as “extortionate demands,” saying they referred the matter to both FBI and NBA in December 2018.
The NBA said on Saturday it was “aware of the situation,” while the Knicks told the New York Post, “This is Kristaps’ personal matter and not related to the Knicks.”
There is some confusion as to how the Knicks communicated news of the alleged rape to the Dallas Mavericks, who acquired Porzingis in January. Per Wojnarowski on Saturday, “the Knicks informed the Mavericks of the pending rape allegation” on a trade call with the league office. However, multiple league sources told The Dallas Morning News on Sunday, “The word ‘rape’ was never used, only ‘extortion.’” The Knicks told the Mavericks they believed Porzingis’ denial, according to the report.
The National Basketball Players Association also backed Porzingis in a statement on Sunday. “We have been aware of these allegations for some time, have evaluated the accuser’s claims and, based on what is presently before us, stand with Kristaps,” NBPA executive director Michele Roberts said in the statement.
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