Former Los Angeles Laker Dwight Howard is addressing allegations he sexually assaulted someone. In a statement sent to AllHipHop.com, the Atlanta native and his team explained how a recent lawsuit filed by the alleged victim is nothing more than an attempt at a cash grab.
“This is a civil case that was made public for profit,” the statement reads. “In this case, the accuser is solely suing Dwight Howard and has refrained from suing the other party in which he claims to be involved. It is important to know that these matters were never about sexual assault. This was merely about money and greed. Such individuals, have made continuous attempts to elicit payment from Dwight. This has resulted in intimidation of not only Dwight, his family and friends have also been targeted as well.
“The accuser took to social media, only after being ignored by Howard. Over the duration of several years the accuser has set out to hire attorneys whom either declined the case or dropped the case after payment from Dwight was denied. Dwight hopes that people spend as much time covering his innocence, his numerous ventures to improve the lives of people through his global initiatives, his efforts to improve the quality of life of all people, despite race, creed, culture, sex, sexual orientation, and others.”
Howard has been accused of the sexual assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and false imprisonment of another man. Consequently, that man, Stephen Harper, is suing the NBA All-Star. Howard denies the allegations, saying he and Harper met on social media and eventually had consensual sex with a third man dressed in women’s clothing named “Kitty.”
Howard’s team insists Harper is desperate for money. The statement continues, “Through efforts like his 750 acre farm, his community outreach, and his 18yr track record of global philanthropy, Dwight looks forward to fans, viewers and spectators alike to focus their time and energy on what matters, which are the positive endeavors that Dwight is actively working on for community, with negativity as the least important focus. In the past, people have tried to take advantage of Dwight, by attempting to use blackmail for money by fabricating stories and taking advantage of his kind nature.
“By taking immediate action, Dwight’s legal team is aggressively pursuing anyone who is online or otherwise attempting to go after his name with false claims. Dwight strongly empathizes with any real cases of sexual assault and believes that fabricated stories as such make it difficult for the real victims of true crimes to come forth. Assault has never been an element in Dwight’s character and he has never sexually assaulted ANYONE. The insensitivity of the individuals making such claims to damage his reputation is unfortunate. However, Howard plans to continue to live his life with grace and not let such false claims ruin his joy + spirit.”
Howard’s sexual preference was previously unknown by the general public until Harper’s bombshell lawsuit.