E-mails absolve Big Ben says lawyer

A former Nevada casino worker who accused Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of rape in a civil lawsuit should drop the case because her own e-mails and text messages prove she wasn’t assaulted, his attorney said.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger hits out of the rough on the 15th hole during the Golf Digest U.S. Open Challenge on Bethpage State Park's Black Course Friday

PITTSBURGH — A former Nevada casino worker who accused Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of rape in a civil lawsuit should drop the case because her own e-mails and text messages prove she wasn’t assaulted, his attorney said.

The Canadian woman “should abandon her lawsuit immediately and admit that Ben Roethlisberger did not rape her,” Roethlisberger’s lawyer W. David Cornwell said in a statement e-mailed to The Associated Press. “We believe that (the woman’s) own words directly refute the scurrilous allegations made in her complaint.”

The woman contends in the lawsuit filed last month in Washoe County District Court in Reno, Nev., that Roethlisberger raped her in his room at Harrah’s in Lake Tahoe in July 2008 when he was there to play in a celebrity golf tournament.

The woman never went to authorities; her lawsuit says she didn’t file a criminal complaint because she feared Harrah’s would side with Roethlisberger and she would be fired. She also accused Harrah’s officials of orchestrating a cover-up.

Cornwell provided the AP and other news outlets with 18 pages of e-mails and texts purportedly between the 31-year-old woman and a male friend.

Cornwell wouldn’t say Wednesday how he obtained the e-mails and texts, but said he has a “good faith basis” to believe they are legitimate. Some of the e-mails were sent within a day of the alleged attack, including some just a couple of hours later, Cornwell said.

In an e-mail two days before the alleged rape, the woman tells her friend that she has been chosen to take care of the resort’s celebrity guests, including Roethlisberger, Cornwell said. She also tells him that he and the quarterback look alike.

On July 12, less than 24 hours after the alleged rape, the woman writes about how much she has enjoyed entertaining the celebrities and VIPs.

“The golf tournament has been really fun . . . I am really excited because we are all going to see Journey tonight and that will be soooooo much fun. Speaking of which I need to head over to dinner with your lookalike and a few others before heading out,” the e-mail said, according to Cornwell.

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