Accuser fires back at Moss after receiver's comments

Updated: January 17, 2008, 5:15 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Portrayed by Randy Moss as a woman making a money grab against him, Rachelle Washington came out on the defensive Thursday.

A statement from her attorney, David McGill, says "she refuses to be further disrespected by him."

"Ms. Washington has been unfairly characterized as someone simply seeking financial gain. In fact, it was Mr. Moss' representatives who first contacted our office to offer a 'six figure' settlement with hopes of not having this incident become public record," the statement reads.

A temporary restraining order was issued Monday requiring the star wide receiver to stay at least 500 feet from Washington who alleged he committed "battery causing serious injury" to her at her Florida home on Jan. 6.

"It has never been her intention to hurt Mr. Moss in any way. However, she has suffered mental and physical harm as a result of his actions. She simply wants him to take responsibility for what he has done. As a battery victim, she has shown great strength throughout this entire ordeal," the statement reads.

Moss denied the allegation, which he called "this situation of extortion," and said he was "furious" about it. The restraining order was issued in the Broward County 17th Judicial Circuit of Florida.

A hearing on whether to issue a permanent restraining order is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET on Jan. 28, six days before the Super Bowl.

Moss does not have to appear at the hearing, the clerk of the court told ESPN. He has hired Florida attorney Richard Sharpstein, who has told Moss' longtime attorney in Minneapolis, Joe Friedberg, that he may ask for a continuance until after the Super Bowl.

Moss can also allow the restraining order filed by Washington to stand, and become a permanent court order. "I can tell you Randy has no desire to go within 500 feet of that lady," Friedberg told ESPN's Sal Paolantonio.

"We have heard Mr. Moss' statement regarding the incident. He has acknowledged that he was at Ms. Washington's Florida residence and that he was 'guilty' of an 'accident' which occurred.

"However, Mr. Moss fails to mention how his reckless and degrading conduct rendered Ms. Washington unable to drive her vehicle to seek medical attention. As the evidence will show, there is serious doubt that Mr. Moss is capable of recalling with clarity the exact details of what transpired that evening. As Mr. Moss has previously stated, "Do your homework and check his resume," the statement reads.

Moss broke his usual midweek silence as he was surrounded by two dozen reporters and 10 videocameras at his locker on Wednesday. He didn't identify the woman but said she has been a friend for 11 years and that she asked for "six figures" for what he said was an accident in which she was hurt.

"I want to make something clear," Moss said. "In my whole entire life of living 30 years, I've never put my hand on one woman, physically or in an angry manner."

In his previous nine seasons -- seven with Minnesota and two with Oakland -- Moss was involved in several off-field incidents.

"This is a negative," he said of the latest allegation, "a black cloud hanging over my head, and that's something that I did not want coming into the season. ... Everything I tried to do from getting here early, to make sure I eat the right food, all the way to practicing and playing, I wanted all of that to be A-plus.

"Everything's been positive, so why would I bring something negative on. As much as I care and love the game of football and love my teammates, I would never put myself or them in a situation of something like this."

With the Vikings, he was criticized by quarterback Daunte Culpepper and others for leaving the field with 2 seconds left in a regular-season loss to Washington. He bumped a traffic control officer with his car in 2002, verbally abused corporate sponsors on a team bus in 2001 and squirted an official with a water bottle in 1999.

On draft day last April, the Patriots sent a 2007 fourth-round draft choice to Oakland for Moss, who has avoided off-field problems this season and been hailed by Patriots players as an excellent teammate and leader.

Undefeated New England plays the San Diego Chargers in the AFC Championship Game in Foxborough on Sunday, thanks in part to Moss, who was named to the All-Pro team. During the season he caught 98 passes for 1,493 yards and 23 touchdowns, breaking Jerry Rice's single-season mark of 22. He had one catch in Saturday night's 31-20 playoff win over Jacksonville, which resorted to double and triple coverage on him.

Washington alleged Moss refused to allow her to seek medical treatment.

"She has her own house. She has her own car," Moss said. "So how am I going to deny someone medical attention when you live by yourself and have your own vehicle?"

He said the allegation will not distract him in Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers.

"Last Friday, this man wanted to come out with it," Moss said, apparently referring to someone siding with Washington, "just to try to distract the team and distract me.

"There was much more said, a lot of verbal, a lot of cuss words, a lot of things that I should be doing. You better do this or else. ... Well, I thought it was bad because now you're threatening me, so I brought it to coach."

He said Patriots coach Bill Belichick told him to focus on football.

"They're false allegations, something I've been battling for like the last couple of days of threats going public if I didn't pay X amount of dollars," Moss said. "So before people rush quick to judgment, I think you need to find out the facts about, really, what's going on.

"This young lady by no means is hurt. I didn't hurt her."

Moss said athletes are targets for false allegations.

"It's very unfair to athletes if a person makes a false claim. You know, there's nothing that we can do," Moss said. "The only thing that we can do is either pay up or sit back and listen to what's being said or what's being written.

"For someone to make a false claim about me, I'm kind of furious. It kind of hurts me deep inside for someone to do something like that because, you know, I've always said time and time again, I'm going to stand up for what's right. If I'm right, I'm right. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong."

Moss faced misdemeanor charges after a 1996 fight with the mother of his daughter, but they were dropped after both agreed to counseling.

He was asked if he thought people would believe his current denial.

"I think the best thing is to check my resume, ask around," Moss said. "I've never hit a woman. I do not hit women."

On Thursday, Belichick came out in support of Moss and said he has no questions about the receiver's readiness for Sunday's game.

"I think Randy's covered those. I've talked to Randy about it and I support Randy 100 percent."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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