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Receiver Holmes' lawyer remains confident

| Friday, April 9, 2010

A day after mailing findings from his own investigation to police, Santonio Holmes' lawyer said he is "more confident than ever" the Steelers wide receiver will be cleared of any wrongdoing stemming from a March 7 incident at an Orlando, Fla., nightclub.

Adam Swickle said evidence he gathered on Holmes' behalf is so overwhelming that he anticipates the lawyers for Anshonae Mills dropping the civil suit they filed for her.

"This is nothing more than frivolous and extortion, and we believe we are going to show that," Swickle said Thursday. "We have sent certain information to the detectives that we believe is going to result in proof positive that Santonio Holmes did absolutely nothing wrong that night. I don't think you can have any better evidence than what we just sent."

Swickle declined to discuss what he sent, but he said Holmes did not throw anything at Mills after the two argued over a seat in the VIP section of Rain nightclub.

Mills, 21, told police that Holmes threw a glass of liquor that hit her in face and left her with a cut above her right eye.

Mills is suing Holmes for battery, assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The University of Central Florida student is seeking more than $15,000 in damages.

Swickle said Mills' lawyers at Justice League Law Group filed a civil suit before adequately looking into her claims. Swickle said Mills' lawyers took the case for publicity since Holmes is an NFL player and the MVP of Super Bowl XLIII.

"I have an obligation to defend (Holmes') reputation," Swickle said. "These lawyers have recklessly tried to ruin that reputation with no investigation. They have blindly followed the inconsistent statements of their client without any investigation."

Jacques Cooper, one of Mills' lawyers, dismissed that claim and said he is still "very confident in our case."

"We definitely did an extensive investigation," he said. "Based on that, we filed the claim, and we still stand behind that."

Police are expected to decide today or early next week whether to file charges.

Police had closed the case after Mills said in a written statement that she did not want to press charges against Holmes. Cooper has said Mills at the scene was pressured not to press charges, and police reopened the case last week.

Holmes and Mills offered contrasting accounts of what happened after the two argued.

According to the police report, Holmes said Mills grabbed him after he asked for his seat back and yelled a racial slur at him when he tried to walk away. Mills said Holmes "got in her face" and threw a glass at her, according to the police report.

According to the police report, Mills asked to talk to Holmes alone after Officer Damon Barnes said he would file charges against Holmes. Barnes observed Mills "smiling" and "rubbing Holmes' face" as they talked, and she told Barnes the matter had been resolved.

Holmes has been arrested for marijuana possession, domestic assault and disorderly conduct since the Steelers took him in the first round of the 2006 draft. All three charges were dismissed.

Holmes has been working out in Florida and has yet to take part in the Steelers' voluntary offseason workouts. The team has its first official offseason practice April 19.

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