Jayson Williams: I was a 'coward' for covering up limo driver shooting
Former NBA All-Star Jayson Williams says he was “being a coward” when he tried covering up the drunken “terrible accident” in which he shot his limousine driver to death, he told Sports Illustrated's Jon Wertheim in a new 60 Minutes Sports interview.
Williams, who says that night still bothers him, is currently spending time in a Florida rehab facility to try and stay sober.
In 2002, Gus Christofi, Williams's driver, was invited to the NBA player's mansion after a night out. Williams provided a tour that included a look at a shotgun that Williams thought was unloaded. The gun went off in Williams’s hands and killed Christofi. Williams wiped the gun off, jumped in his pool and asked one of his friends to get rid of his clothes.
“[There is] nothing I can do or say to bring Mr. Christofi back. If there was I would do it,” Williams said. “Terrible accident and the way I acted after the accident was being a coward. That bothers me…The cover-up was selfishness…me trying to protect myself.”
In the aftermath of the shooting, Williams was convicted on four counts of covering up the shooting, though he was acquitted of aggravated manslaughter. He also pleaded guilty to aggravated assault.
Williams served an 18-month prison sentence and was released in April 2012. He dealt with alcoholism and says he would drink “a fifth of moonshine” at the peak of his problems. He found the rehab center Epiphany and spent 30 days there before never leaving.
“I’ve quit trying to protect myself. I just try to live right and let the pieces fall where they may,” Williams said. “That’s my only job, to be sober…I don’t know what happened yesterday. I know I was sober. I damn sure don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow.”
The episode of 60 Minutes Sports episode airs on Tuesday, December 6 at 8 p.m. on Showtime.