Matt Araiza plans to sue alleged gang rape victim’s lawyer for defamation
Former Bills punter Matt Araiza was released last year, in the days following the filing of a civil lawsuit against Araiza and others alleging gang rape.
Tuesday night’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on HBO, which premieres at 10:00 p.m. ET, takes a closer look at the situation. The segment from correspondent Andrea Kremer includes an interview with Araiza.
Beyond denying all accusations and explaining that the alleged victim initiated sexual contact with him, Araiza says he will not settle the pending lawsuit at any price, and that he plans to sue attorney Dan Gilleon for defamation.
“I’ve already hired an attorney for it, and things have already been drafted,” Araiza tells Kremer. “I will never waive my right to sue him. That’s coming.”
The reference to waiving his right to sue Gilleon suggests that any settlement of the claims being made by the alleged victim would include a waiver of any claims Araiza could make against the alleged victim or Gilleon.
Gilleon also was interviewed. He vowed to move forward with the lawsuit against Araiza. But Gilleon’s story has shifted a bit, apparently, as to the core allegations of gang rape against Araiza. Given a conclusion by the prosecutor’s office that Araiza was gone from the party before the alleged gang rape happened, Gilleon has offered a revised version of the facts.
“We are not saying that he was, and we are not saying that he wasn’t,” Gilleon said. “Let’s say he was not one of the men in there. That doesn’t absolve him of liability.”
The new theory seems to be that Araiza and others had a scheme that involved targeting the alleged victim, getting her drunk, and then having sex with her. As Kremer notes, this specific theory does not appear in the civil complaint filed last August.
“Our allegation is, is he contributed heavily to the harm that she suffered that night,” Gilleon said. “He had sex with my client. Following that, she ended up having sex with multiple guys and came out of there bloodied, in shock. Ended up at the hospital, ended up with the police, and ended up traumatized. So that’s what I mean by the gang rape. Gang rapes can occur for two days. They can occur over time. They can occur multiple places. So that’s the clarification.”
Kremer pointed out to Gilleon that this seems like “a far cry” from the allegations in the civil complaint.
“I don’t know,” Gilleon said. “I think my client is going to get on the stand and tell a story that’s pretty ugly about Matt Araiza, and I think it’s going to be consistent with what that complaint is.”
The stakes for everyone will increase, if/when Araiza sues Gilleon. As explained in the attached video, that’s what former Vikings running back Dalvin Cook decided to do -- and he has secured some preliminary victories. Araiza quite possibly will do the same.
For now, all that’s known is: (1) the lawsuit against Araiza will continue; and (2) Araiza will be suing Gilleon. the rest will play out in court.