So all of you thought that today’s Ben Roethlisberger news wasn’t going to get any weirder, please stand in the corner silently. You do not get a cookie. According to TMZ, the woman who is accusing Roethlisberger of sexual assault has been under psychiatric care after having fallen in love with a soldier in Iraq who never existed. (That sound you hear is defense attorneys jumping into their cars and fleeing). But as the late Billy Mays was fond of saying, that’s not all!
Specifics of the complaint against the Steelers’ quarterback are now surfacing, thanks to NBC.com’s PRO FOOTBALL TALK. Andrea McNulty, the Harrah’s Lake Tahoe hotel employee who is charging Roethlisberger in the civil complaint, says that the two talked about fly fishing the day before he “forced himself” on her in his hotel room. Afterwards, Roethlisberger allegedly told her angrily, “If anyone asks you, you fixed my television. You fixed my television. Now go!”
Yeah, this is getting ugly. No matter what you believe, is there any doubt that this is going to be a huge distraction for the Steelers during the preseason?
Roethlisberger has hired an attorney and denies the allegations.
McNulty’s civil lawsuit claims that Roethlisberger sexually assaulted her at Harrah’s in July 2008, when he was in town for the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship. Roethlisberger appears annually at the event, which has been co-hosted by Harrah’s since 2007. TMZ says that the two have known each other for some time.
Now word is out that McNulty has supposedly been seeing a therapist, but not because of the Roethlisberger allegations. From TMZ:
Sources connected with the case tell us a former co-worker of McNulty’s at Harrah’s came forward with this incredible story — that around the time McNulty hooked up with Roethlisberger, she was allegedly involved with a married man. The man’s wife, we’re told, created an email account, posing as a U.S. soldier in Iraq. The wife began corresponding with McNulty to gain information. We’re told the former co-worker has said McNulty fell in love with the fictitious soldier and began telling people she was engaged to him. When the wife stopped the correspondence, McNulty then began telling people the soldier was killed in action.
We’re told McNulty told at least one co-worker she began seeing a psychiatrist because of the phantom soldier.
Meanwhile, PRO FOOTBALL TALK obtained specifics of the civil charges, in which McNulty claims that she talked with Roethlisberger for approximately 20 minutes while helping as a server at a party at Harrah’s which he attended. Later, Roethlisberger allegedly lured her into his hotel room, claiming that his TV sound system wasn’t working.
McNulty alleges that, on July 10, she and Roethlisberger had a conversation about fly fishing, and that they talked about the fact that McNulty is an avid fly fisherman. …
As to the incident itself, it allegedly occurred on Friday, July 11. … McNulty claims that, when she arrived at the room, he was wearing a T-shirt and athletic shorts. She adds, for no apparent reason other than to show the clarity of her recollection, that the room was a mess.
Roethlisberger showed her the television that was malfunctioning, located in suite’s bedroom. Using the remote, she determined that there was no problem with the television or the sound system.
She claims that, as she tried to leave the room, Roethlisberger blocked her path, and that he “grabbed [her] and started to kiss her.”
She claims that she was “shocked and stunned that this previously friendly man, that appeared to be a gentleman in her previous contacts with him was suddenly preventing her from leaving, was assaulting and battering her.”
ESPN has been maintaining intrawebs silence on the entire thing, PRO FOOTBALL TALK saying that the WWL has issued a “Do Not Report” memo to all departments. And indeed as of this writing there has been nothing mentioned of the civil suit on its web site.
ESPN wishing the story into the corn field doesn’t mean it never happened — actual papers have been filed, and the charges are real. Maybe they figure they have latitude due to it being a civil case. It will be interesting to see what has to happen with the case in order for them to acknowledge it. Whatever. Your Jedi mind tricks have no power here, ESPN.