Jameis Winston isn't taking a hit to his reputation mildly. Attorneys for the NFL’s first draft pick filed a counterclaim against Erica Kinsman, who accused the former Florida State University quarterback of rape in December 2012.
After investigations, Kinsman's claims were dismissed by both the Tallahassee police department and the university. The state’s attorney declined to charge Winston and in December 2014 FSU’s conduct board cleared him of sexual assault charges.
This past April, right before the NFL draft, Kinsman sued Winston for sexual battery, assault and false imprisonment. She is seeking damages “in excess of $15,000.”
The Associated Press, who originally reported on the story, notes that the agency doesn't routinely identify people who say they're sexual assault victims. However, Kinsman told her story publicly in a documentary called The Hunting Ground, in which she revealed her side of the incident for the first time.
Winston's attorneys fired back with the countersuit Friday (May 8), claiming that Kinsman is motivated by greed. She's “telling many different and inconsistent accounts of her sexual encounter,” the lawyers wrote in the suit, according to the AP.
“Ms. Kinsman has been successful in one major area,” his legal team continues. “She has mounted a false and vicious media campaign to vilify Mr. Winston with the objective of getting him to pay her to go away. Ms. Kinsman is motivated by the most insidious objectives — greed.”
The court filing added that, after going public with her accusations, Kinsman’s lawyer had “initiated ‘settlement’ discussions” and that “in a later call Ms. Kinsman’s counsel demanded $7,000,000 from Mr. Winston,” who recently signed a $23.5 million contract with the Tampa Bay Bucaneers. The filing states that Kinsman was aware that Winston was expected to sign a multi-million dollar contract.
Though Winston is countersuing for at least $75,000 in damages, his attorneys claim that his suffering is actually worth far more than that, after Kinsman "accused him of a crime he did not commit."
Winston has maintained that his sexual encounter with Kinsman was consensual and that medical reports and two teammate witnesses back his side of the story.
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(Photo: Joe Robbins/Getty Images)