The he-said/she-said/he-said brand of public lawyering continues unabated this afternoon.
This morning both PFT and TMZ.com reported that the advisor to Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, in a letter to FSU officials and as he had wrote on Twitter yesterday, stated his client would cooperate with the university’s Title IX investigation into an alleged rape. The advisor, David Cornwell, also claimed in the letter that the alleged victim’s lawyer “demanded $7 [million] to settle her client’s claims against FSU and Winston” and that “if we settle, you will never hear from my client or me again — in the press or anywhere.”
In response to Cornwell’s claims, the Title IX attorney for the alleged victim has fired back with accusations of his own.
“The facts that Mr. Cornwell chose not to disclose are that it was he himself who reached out to our client’s former counsel Patricia Carroll to discuss paying off our client,” read a portion of a statement from lawyer John Clune to the Orlando Sentinel. “Patricia Carroll didn’t even know who David Cornwell was until he called. Mr. Cornwell then himself flew down from Atlanta to negotiate with Ms. Carroll.”
“Settlement discussions were immediately unproductive as Cornwell was crude and insulting going so far as to say ‘your client likes to (expletive) football players,'” Clune’s statement read according to USA Today. “When told that the client’s main concern was not money but that Winston be held accountable for his actions, Cornwell threatened to sue our client and her parents for civil racketeering in an effort to intimidate them into staying quiet.”
Patricia Carroll was the attorney referenced in Cornwell’s letter to the school as the one attempting to extort his client. It should also be noted that Clune refers to Carroll as “our client’s former council,” even as she’s expecetd to release a statement Thursday.
“Although it is our understanding that settlement was discussed at that meeting [with Carroll], no authorized demands were made of Mr. Winston,” Clune wrote, in part, according to the Associated Press. Klune was not in attendance at that meeting.
The Sentinel also wrote that Clune “called the [Cornwell’s] letter ‘self-serving’ and said it was full of ‘dishonest and distorted statements'” in his statement.
Earlier today, Jimbo Fisher told reporters that he had heard of the reports from earlier today but hadn’t read them. Yesterday, the FSU head coach also revealed that Winston would no longer be made available to the media during the week so that the player could concentrate on football.
UPDATED 4:04 p.m. ET: David Cornwell took to Twitter to respond to Clune’s statement/allegations. And, yes, this is getting uglier by the second.