UPDATE: Attorney Manion has now seemingly backed off his strong comments from this morning, which characterized an allegation against Roethlisberger by a young woman in Las Vegas six months ago as “absolutely identical” to what happened between the quarterback and a woman on March 5 in Georgia.
With no record of law enforcement involvement and apparently no evidence to speak of, it’s obvious that Manion spoke out of turn - which I hinted at this morning.
Harry Manion, a partner at Boston law firm Cooley Manion Jones, guested on WEEI-AM’s The Dennis and Callahan Morning Show in Boston this morning and said he was hired to investigate an incident involving Ben Roethlisberger six months ago that was “absolutely identical” to the recent sexual assault allegation by a Georgia woman.
(The latest on Big Ben’s ordeal in realtime: Brooks on Twitter)
“Six months ago I was hired by a client of mine, a good friend, to investigate allegations against Ben Roethlisberger in a Las Vegas nightclub that were absolutely identical to this Georgia girl’s story. The outcome was that the young woman did not want to proceed and we never took any action. There is a history here, and I can’t say any further, that is super troubled. Wow.”
I can’t imagine Manion would bring this up unless his investigation netted some evidence that Roethlisberger may have done something inappropriate and/or illegal.
Also makes you wonder why the police weren’t notified - if the incident was “identical” to the Georgia situation. Reason I say that is I believe had the woman not dropped her claim against Roethlisberger March 17, I think the D.A. in the Georgia case would’ve brought charges against the Pittsburgh quarterback.
This news also makes you wonder if NFL security has any knowledge of other, similar incidents involving Roethlisberger and if so, could that play a role in any league or team discipline that comes down.
UPDATE (11:14a ET): More from Manion:
Manion said this latest incident should be the wakeup call that finally gets Roethlisberger to clean up his act. “Unless he’s totally brain dead — and we don’t know — he would be scared,” Manion said. “Because he has really walked a perilous line here. There’s a whole litany here, not only my experience, I have connected with several other people that have experience. And you know, there’s only so far that he said/she said will get you. There’s only so far that paying hush money will get you, if hush money is paid. And there’s only so far that, ‘Gee, we’re celebrities, we have a target on our back,’ will get you. When you see this much smoke, month after month and continuously …”
Added Manion: “It’s the scene that he’s gotten himself caught up with, and the belief that he can walk, and so far, so good. But it’s hurting him. He’s hurt. He has been damaged. And the next one, the wrath of God’s going to come down on him, if there is a next one.”
There seems to be more and more of a chance that Roethlisberger’s problem might not be the “next one”, but something that could possibly already be out there.
Also on SPORTSbyBROOKS today: