Affidavit: Accuser fantasized about having Big Ben's kid
The Nevada casino host accusing Ben Roethlisberger of rape once bragged about having consensual sex with the Steelers quarterback and later fantasized that she could have a "little Roethlisberger," according to court documents filed in Reno late Friday.
"When (she) told me about her encounter with Mr. Roethlisberger she appeared happy and was boastful about what happened," the court affidavit quotes Angela Antonetti, a former co-worker of Roethlisberger's accuser at the Harrah's Lake Tahoe Hotel and Casino, as saying.
The affidavit was filed Friday evening as part of a motion to change venues for the trial in the woman's suit against Roethlisberger. It is not filed as part of Roethlisberger's response to the suit itself. Roethlisberger's attorneys have been given until Aug. 21 to file the response to the suit.
A 31-year-old woman filed a civil lawsuit last month accusing Roethlisberger, 27, of raping her in July 2008 at the hotel, where the woman worked as a VIP concierge.
Roethlisberger was participating in the resort's American Century Celebrity Golf Championship at the time. The lawsuit also names eight Harrah's employees as defendants, claiming they were part of a cover-up.
The Tribune-Review does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault.
Roethlisberger has denied the accusations, which he called "reckless and false."
"I would never, ever force myself on a woman," Roethlisberger said during a July 23 press conference.
Today, both he and Steeler spokesman Dave Lockett declined to comment on the situation.
"These slanderous allegations are deliberately scandalous and sensational," Roethlisberger's Reno lawyer, John Echeverria, wrote in a memorandum supporting his venue-change request.
"Plaintiff and her lawyers seek to have the press republish these false and salacious allegations in an effort to abuse the judicial process in hope of securing an extortionate payday."
Neither Echeverria nor Roethlisberger's Atlanta-based attorney, William David Cornwell Sr., could be reached for comment.
The woman's lawyer, Calvin Dunlap of Reno, told the Tribune-Review around midnight that he "absolutely" believes the complaint he filed was truthful and accurate.
About yesterday's court filings and Antonetti's affidavit, Dunlap only said: "I cannot wait to take her deposition."
In the affidavit, Antonetti said she was driving home from the gym on July 21 when she heard a radio report about a Harrah's employee accusing Roethlisberger of rape through a lawsuit.
"Because I knew that (her) lawsuit and false allegations would unfairly and unjustly hurt Mr. Roethlisberger, I wanted to set the story straight," Antonetti said in the affidavit.
The lawsuit claims Roethlisberger lured the woman to his penthouse suite to fix a problem with his television. Once inside, Roethlisberger sexually assaulted the woman, the lawsuit states.
Antonetti said the woman never told her any of the details described in the lawsuit. The accuser never appeared upset, stressed or nervous about her tryst with Roethlisberger, Antonetti said in the affidavit.
"Nor did she comment in any fashion that the alleged sexual interaction that she had with Mr. Roethlisberger was anything other than consensual," Antonetti said in the affidavit.
Soon after, the woman told Antonetti she thought Roethlisberger might have impregnated her, the affidavit states.
"Rather than indicating that she was afraid or apprehensive about this, (she) expressed to me that she was hoping for a 'little Roethlisberger,'" Antonetti said. "I was surprised by (her) comment that she might be pregnant because it would have been too early after the night with Mr. Roethlisberger for (her) to know whether or not she was pregnant."
Antonetti said in the affidavit that the year before the 2008 celebrity golf tournament Roethlisberger's accuser broke off an affair with a married man after the man's wife confronted her. The accuser then told Antonetti that she started an online romance with "Ben," a U.S. soldier she said was serving in Iraq.
The accuser later told Antonetti that she "was engaged to Soldier Ben and that she had fallen in love with him," the affidavit states.
After the 2008 golf tournament, however, the accuser told Antonetti that she discovered "Soldier Ben was a fabricated hoax and that Soldier Ben did not exist," the affidavit states.
The accuser learned of the trick through a "Gotcha" e-mail, believed to have been masterminded by her former paramour's wife.
"I understood and observed that she was very emotionally distraught by the fact that Soldier Ben was a fictitious creation by a scorned woman," Antonetti said in the affidavit.
In late September 2008, shortly after confiding in Antonetti that "Soldier Ben" did not exist, the accuser took a leave of absence from Harrah's and did not return until around Thanksgiving, the affidavit states.
After Antonetti left Harrah's in March, the accuser met her for lunch at Atlantis Hotel and told Antonetti that she was going to sue Harrah's, the affidavit states.
The accuser last week filed a complaint with Nevada police that reported she has received more than 100 threatening and harassing telephone calls since filing the lawsuit.