Derrick Rose can take a deep breath and a sigh of relief after an eight-member jury found the NBA star and two of his friends not liable in a sexual assault civil suit on Wednesday.
The New York Knicks baller’s ex-girlfriend accused him and two other men of gang-raping her while she was incapacitated from drugs or alcohol.
The jury began deliberations Wednesday morning and its decision was announced at about 4:30 p.m. ET.
“I am thankful that the jury understood and agreed with me,” Rose said in a statement to the Associated Press. “This experience and my sensitivity to it was deep. I am ready to put this behind me and focus on my family and career.”
Rose’s ex-girlfriend said he and two friends gang-raped her in 2013 at her Los Angeles apartment after she passed out from drugs or alcohol.
Neither side denied the three men had sex with the woman, but the issue was whether she consented or was too intoxicated to do so.
Defense lawyers tarred the woman as a liar who tried to sway jurors through her tears to get at Rose’s fortune. They claimed she was angry he had dumped her and she set him up and brought the lawsuit in hopes of a big payoff.
The woman’s lawyer called the men “sexual deviants” and said they conspired to gang rape her after she was drunk and incapable of consenting to sex. The woman, who became emotional and trembled while testifying, had sought $21.5 million when she filed suit, but her attorney did not put a price on the case Tuesday during closing arguments, saying it was up to the jury.
Rose’s lawyer said the future of the Knicks point guard and his whole family was at stake because of a morals clause in his player contract and an endorsement deal with Adidas.
Shortly after the verdict, Adidas released a statement saying, “Our partnership with Derrick remains unchanged.”
Now, that all of this is behind him…the scoop on the hardwood is D. Rose may start for the Knicks.