The woman accusing Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis of rape reached out to the New York Knicks' legal department to "mediate in private" about eight months after the alleged assault occurred, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Monday.
According to Wojnarowski, ESPN obtained emails that detail the woman's documented communication with the Knicks' legal staff from late October through early November. During that time, no criminal complaint had been filed with New York police.
The woman reportedly told the Knicks that she went to Porzingis's apartment to get his autograph hours after he suffered a torn ACL in his left knee in a game against the Bucks on Feb. 6, 2018. The woman described the meeting as "an extremely agressive encounter" and said Porzingis agreed to co-sign a statement with her that promised a payment of $68,000.
In a statement to ESPN, Porzingis's attorney said he believes the document is "a forgery." According to Wojnarowski, Kristaps's name is misspelled in the document, and it is unclear whether the signature on it belongs to him.
The woman also reportedly included a photograph that she said showed hair loss and broken nose cartilage "from when [Porzingis] repeatedly hit me." On Oct. 30, 2018, she told the Knicks that "After the extremely aggressive encounter, [Porzingis] was very apologetic, loving and caring ... hence, the offer he made to pay my (little) bro's tuition + more. ... Although how he treated me was horrendous, as a Knicks fan, I do not want him to get him in any trouble with the law. I stayed back and enjoyed the rest of the time I spent with him."
In an email dated Nov. 6, the Knicks' legal staff informed the woman that Porzingis had "decided to retain counsel to represent him and they will be in touch with you shortly. The New York Knicks will not have any further involvement on Kristaps' behalf."
The New York Post reported on Saturday that Porzingis was being accused of raping the woman in the early morning hours of Feb. 7, 2018. The woman told the NYPD about the alleged attack on Thursday and waited for more than a year to talk to law enforcement because she discussed getting the payment from Porzingis to stay quiet, the Post reported. Porzingis allegedly revoked his promise.
Porzingis's attorney, Roland G. Riopelle, said in the statement on Saturday that he and Porzingis made a formal referral to federal law enforcement on Dec. 20, 2018 "based on the accuser's extortionate demands." He added that the two "unequivocally deny the allegations."
According to The Dallas Morning News' Brad Townsend, two league sources contradicted Saturday's ESPN report that the Knicks told the Mavericks that Porzingis was being investigated for rape allegations during the Jan. 31 call with NBA officials to finalize the deal. The sources said only the word "extortion" was used during the conversations.
Michele Roberts, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, issued a statement on Sunday that defended Porzingis.
"We have been aware of these allegations for some time, have evaluated the accuser's claims and, based on what is presently before us, stand with Kristaps," Roberts said.
Porzingis, 23, was traded to the Dallas Mavericks on Jan. 31 but has not played this season as he continues to rehab a torn left ACL.