Jameis Winston fires back, suing woman who accused him of rape

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A file photo of Jameis Winston. Image courtesy Ryals Lee, Jr./FSU Athletic Dept

By Greg Botelho

CNN

(CNN) — Jameis Winston is not letting the lawsuit against him pass.

Instead, the former Florida State University quarterback-turned-top NFL draft pick has fired back against the woman who accused him of rape.

Weeks after ex-FSU student Erica Kinsman filed a lawsuit against him, Winston responded with a counterclaim filed Friday in a Florida court asking for a jury trial. His lawsuit claims Kinsman had consensual sexual relations with Winston, subsequently lied about it repeatedly, publicly tarnished his image and demanded $7 million in order to drop her case.

“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,” states the Heisman Trophy winner’s lawsuit. “Ms. Kinsman is motivated by the most insidious objectives — greed.”

John Clune, who is Kinsman’s lawyer, responded by saying Winston’s “counterclaims put all of his prior misconduct and background front and center in the case by alleging injury to his ‘good reputation.’

“The burden of proof is now on him,” Clune said. “Refusing to answer questions and smearing people in the media aren’t going to fly here. I’m not sure how well that will end up for him in this case.”

Accuser claimed she was drugged, raped

Few have experienced the highs that Winston has as a football player.

In the 2013 season, his first as Florida State’s quarterback, he won the Heisman — recognition as college football’s top player — while leading the Seminoles to an undefeated season and a national championship. His team was a semifinalist this past season, and Winston was picked first overall — by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — in the recent NFL Draft.

Still, these exploits have been clouded by accusations of immaturity and worse, including the allegation — for which Winston was never charged by police — that he raped Kinsman in December 2012.

At the time of the alleged incident, Winston was a top recruit for Florida State but not yet playing on the team.

In a lawsuit filed last month, Kinsman alleges sexual battery, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress. She also sued the university in January.

CNN doesn’t normally identify the alleged victims of sexual assault; however, Kinsman revealed her name this year in a documentary about rape on college campuses.

According to police documents, Kinsman claimed that Winston raped her after she had been drinking with friends at a bar in Tallahassee. She said an unknown man gave her a shot glass of liquid before they left the bar.

Kinsman also said she did not remember much of what happened next but that she remembered being in a ground-floor apartment, where Winston took off her clothes and had sex with her despite her objections, according to police documents.

She reported the alleged assault to FSU campus police that night. A month later, in January 2013, she told Tallahassee police that Winston was the attacker. In December 2013, a state attorney announced that investigators did not have probable cause to arrest Winston.

Winston’s counterclaim, filed Friday, graphically spells out his version of what happened over 63 pages.

Its opening line may be the most important: “Jameis Winston did not rape Erica Kinsman.”

Counterclaim: ‘Ms. Kinsman is lying’

The football player’s lawsuit goes on to accuse Kinsman of offering “different and inconsistent accounts of her sexual encounter with Mr. Winston.” It notes six inquiries into her case — including those pursued by Tallahassee police, the local prosecutor and Florida State — “all considered Ms. Kinsman’s story and rejected it.”

Time and again, Winston’s lawsuit brings up and knocks down various claims — like the one that she was drugged — from Kinsman.

Along these lines, it states, “At no time did Ms. Kinsman say ‘no’ to Mr. Winston or otherwise protest against having sex with Mr. Winston.”

The star QB’s lawsuit also alleges that Kinsman demanded $7 million “and promised that, if [he] paid he would never hear from Ms. Kinsman again.”

In the meantime, the counterclaim asserts Kinsman’s accusations “maliciously and impermissibly interfered with Mr. Winston’s business and personal relationships,” meaning lost or less valuable endorsement deals, among other costs — including to his “reputation and public image” — according to the lawsuit.

A recurring assertion in the lawsuit, regarding multiple details on multiple occasions, is that “Ms. Kinsman is lying.”

CNN’s Coy Wire, Quand Thomas and Steve Almasy contributed to this report.

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1 Comment

  • ANOTHERBOB

    Erica Kinsman demanded $7 million in order to drop her case? The word “extortion” comes to mind.

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