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Steelers WR Holmes' lawyer turns up heat

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By Scott Brown
Friday, April 2, 2010
 

Santonio Holmes' lawyer went on the offensive Thursday, saying the Steelers wide receiver has "been raked over the coals" following a March 7 altercation at an Orlando, Fla., nightclub.

In a civil suit, Holmes is accused of throwing a glass of liquor at a 21-year-old woman and hitting her in the face with it after the two argued over a seat in the VIP section of Rain nightclub.

Anshonae Mills is suing Holmes for battery, assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress. She is seeking more than $15,000 in damages.

According to a report released by the Orlando Police Department this week, Holmes said a woman threw the glass that left Mills with a cut above her right eye.

"The true story and the complete story is going to come out," said Fort Lauderdale-based lawyer Adam B. Swickle, who is representing Holmes. "I think the allegations are going to be disproven."

Orlando police are not pursuing criminal charges. They closed their investigation after Mills, a student at the University of Central Florida, said in a written statement that she did not want charges to be filed against Holmes.

Jacques Cooper, Mills' lawyer, said his client was pressured at the scene not to press charges. He said Holmes offered Mills money when they talked outside of the nightclub.

According to the police report, Mills asked the investigating officer to talk to Holmes alone when they were questioned outside of the club and that she was "smiling" and "rubbing his face."

Cooper said witnesses can back up Mills' version of the story. Swickle said he is conducting his own investigation; he is expected to respond to the lawsuit in the next two weeks.

"We are confident that, when everything is decided, we're going to be successful," Swickle said.

Steelers president Art Rooney II said this week that "We are disappointed to learn about the recent incident involving Santonio Holmes in Florida." Rooney added that he would refrain from further comment until the Steelers gather more information.

Holmes has not been at voluntary offseason workouts this week at the team practice facility. He is training in Florida.

Norwood, Ghee visit Steelers

The Steelers on Thursday wrapped up this week's visits from NFL Draft prospects when they met with South Carolina linebacker Eric Norwood and Wake Forest defensive back Brandon Ghee.

The 6-foot-1, 245-pound Norwood is South Carolina's all-time leader in sacks (29). Ghee, 6-foot, 192 pounds, turned in the fastest 40-yard dash time (4.45 seconds) for cornerbacks at February's NFL Combine.

The Steelers have met with 13 out-of-area prospects. Teams are allowed to host up to 30 in advance of this month's draft.

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