Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose on Thursday denied allegations that he sexually assaulted an ex-girlfriend in Aug. 2013, saying in a statement issued to USA TODAY Sports that he is innocent.
“I am just focusing on staying healthy and getting ready for the season,” Rose said in the statement. “I am not going to comment other than to say – I know the truth, and am confident I will be proven innocent.”
The plaintiff, who is identified only as Jane Doe in a civil lawsuit filed on Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleges that Rose and his friends drugged and gang-raped her two years ago after breaking into her apartment.
A representative for Rose, Lisa Cohen, pushed back hard against those claims as well.
“The plaintiff’s allegations are completely false and without any factual basis,” Cohen said in a statement. “This is nothing more than a desperate attempt to shake down a highly respected and successful athlete. Mr. Rose was in a non-exclusive, consensual sexual relationship with the plaintiff for over two years.
“The plaintiff expressed no complaints about Mr. Rose until various lawyers began to surface and demand that the plaintiff be paid millions of dollars. This is the third lawyer the plaintiff has retained in this matter. Two years have passed since Mr. Rose ended the consensual relationship with the plaintiff, and her claims are as meritless now as they were two years ago. We have complete confidence that the case will be dismissed and that Mr. Rose will be vindicated. This lawsuit is outrageous.”
The Bulls issued a statement on Wednesday night as well.
“We just learned about this matter and do not know all the facts,” the statement read. “It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”