Former NBA champion Dwight Howard, who was recently still looking for a team in the league, has been accused of sexual assault and battery allegations against him from a man named Stephen Harper, after a situation which stems from July 2021.
The ex-Lakers star denied the charges claiming the encounter was “consensual”, which reads from the court documents. The incident, which took place at his own home in Georgia, also shares accusations for false imprisonment and “intentional infliction of emotional distress.”
Justin Bailey, an lawyer representing the eight-time All-Star player, explained to the press why this was only made public after a demand for payment.
Dwight Howard responds to allegations of being with a man pic.twitter.com/KUYTyevDsS
— SHO’NUFF (@IAMSHO_NUFF) October 26, 2023
”What was a private consensual encounter was made public for profit and Mr. Howard looks forward to bringing the truth to light in a court of law,” he told ESPN on Wednesday. “The allegations against Mr. Howard are contested. Mr. Howard intends to present the truth.”
According to the attorney, the veteran athlete went all the way to block his accuser on social media because he was being molested by him.
“The truth is Mr. Howard blocked Mr. Harper on social media and then was confronted with two options — pay to protect his reputation or have a fabricated story made public. Despite being an easy target due to the subject matter and his status as a celebrity, Mr. Howard chose to trust in the justice system and will rely on all future court filings to speak for themselves,” Bailey shared.
As for Harper’s lawyer, she explained how they were already expecting him to deny the allegations, and told their version of the incident.
“We had some independent investigation to conduct and Mr. Harper had some private factors to consider before we all felt ready to proceed with the lawsuit,” attorney Olga Izmaylova said. “It has come to my attention that Mr. Howard is now attempting to label my client’s filing of this lawsuit as an act of extortion, which is absolutely false.”
Stephen A. Smith believes that Dwight Howard’s sexual assault proceedings as reason for NBA expulsion
ESPN icon Stephen A. Smith, took this opportunity to shed some light on Dwight Howard’s reality, as he expected to return to the NBA for one last spell before retirement. Considering the details of the sexual assault case, he didn’t hold back.
“That’s why teams didn’t want you,” he said on his podcast. “Whether (teams) would admit it or not, and I’m not going to mention teams because I don’t want to incriminate anybody or accuse anybody or something I simply don’t know, I’m guessing. But I the first thought that came to my mind ‘that’s why they don’t want (Dwight)”.
Smith then elaborated more on what happens behind the scenes with Howard, further explaining why NBA franchises are reluctant to sign the three-time Defensive Player of the Year.
“It is not in the realm of comprehension that a team was looking into bringing Dwight Howard with that defensive prowess that he brings to the table that a team was not looking to bright Dwight Howard on Board and then found out through their investigative process, because they investigate everything, that he had this court situation coming down the pipe,” the NBA insider said.