Jameis Winston’s lawyer: We’ll countersue if lawsuit is filed
A laywer for Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston says his client will sue back if his accuser files a civil lawsuit.
Winston is currently facing four potential violations of FSU’s code of conduct related to whether he sexually assaulted a woman two years ago. A hearing this week lasted two days and former Florida State Supreme Court Justice Major Harding is tasked with making a decision.
Winston’s attorney David Cornwell repeated on Wednesday his assertion that the entire point of the hearing was to establish a record that could be used in a potential civil lawsuit against the Heisman Trophy winner.
On Friday, Cornwell explained how his client would respond if a suit is brought against him.
"If sued, JW will counterclaim n sue PCarroll n JClune 4 defamation & civil extortion," Cornwell tweeted on Friday, referring to the accuser’s lawyers. "Can’t b defendants n counsel. [Redacted] will need new attys."
Winston was never arrested following an investigation of the woman’s allegation that he raped her in December 2012. Prosecutor Willie Meggs declined to file criminal charges last year, citing a lack of evidence. Winston claims he and his accuser had consensual sex.
After the hearing’s conclusion Wednesday, Cornwell called it a "shakedown."
An attorney for the accuser John Clune said that the hearing went well enough that he thinks there is enough evidence presented to convince the hearing officer to expel Winston from school.
"The testimony came in as we had hoped it would," Clune said, adding that the prospect of a civil lawsuit could depend on what happens to Winston.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.