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In Roethlisberger case, it's important to keep an open mind

We recently completed a spot with Drew Forrester of WNST in Baltimore, and we discussed at the top of the segment the lawsuit filed against Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Despite the obvious Ravens rooting bias against anyone from the ‘Burgh, Forrester expressed skepticism regarding the case, due to the apparent absence of criminal charges.

Regardless of whether criminal charges were, have been, or will be filed, the fact that Andrea McNulty has opted to proceed in civil court does not automatically make her claims less credible.  This isn’t a pro se filing that she cobbled together on a first-generation Mac and printed via dot matrix.  She has enough evidence and/or tells a sufficiently compelling story to persuade a lawyer to take the case.

Of course, that fact won’t impress many of you, given that lawyers don’t have the greatest of reputations.  But the fact that a lawyer is willing to risk his own reputation by taking the case should at least prompt folks to keep an open mind at this stage of the game.

And the lawyer who took the case, Calvin Dunlap, is no stranger to high-profile litigation.  As our own Taco Bill discovered via his own first-generation Mac with dot-matrix printer, Dunlap represented the wife of Nevada’s governor in a nasty divorce proceeding.

Our main point for now is that everyone should keep an open mind.  No one should presume that Roethlisberger did it, and no one should presume that Andrea McNulty is making it all up.

Then again, the reality is that it’s one or the other.  We’ve seen the allegations in the complaint (we’ll share the details once we get a certified copy of the document from the courthouse clerk), and this incident was not the result of a misunderstanding. 

The complaint makes it clear that either Roethlisberger is guilty as sin, or McNulty has fabricated the entire case.

For now, we’re not choosing sides.  But we intend to apply the same degree of curiosity and cynicism that we have applied in past legal cases, even if the ultimate outcome means that residing 100 miles from Pittsburgh is about 500 miles too close.

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52 Responses to “In Roethlisberger case, it's important to keep an open mind”
  1. Hong Kong Phooey says: Jul 21, 2009 9:06 AM

    good thing she didn’t have small traces of marijuana in her system. she woulda capped his ass.

  2. FLORIOLEADSWITNESSES says: Jul 21, 2009 9:07 AM

    You mean we shouldnt call him a thug, curse his parents, call for his suspension while presuming his guilt?

  3. Big Stretch says: Jul 21, 2009 9:08 AM

    Gold Digger

  4. Filbertkiwi71 says: Jul 21, 2009 9:08 AM

    Dot Matrix? I never met the woman. Yes, I know, it is an old printer.

  5. George C says: Jul 21, 2009 9:13 AM

    Just another gold digger who will throw anyone into the volcano for money.
    Good luck Ben.
    Hopefully she crawls back into the cave she came out of.

  6. denden says: Jul 21, 2009 9:14 AM

    Why should I keep an open mind when it is a BLACK ballplayer you do not keep an open mind.

  7. jack_lambert says: Jul 21, 2009 9:16 AM

    What’s interesting is the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a version of the story, but doesn’t mention the sexual assault allegation until the sixth paragraph. Talk about burying the lede, the writer doesn’t even touch it, but the reader finds out about the allegation via a quote by Roethlisberger’s lawyer. Now THAT is a journalist/publisher, with no balls. They call it a defamation charge against B-Roth. Call it what it is, a sexual assault allegation, make sure you say allegation, and let the facts play themselves out, don’t treat him with kid gloves, he’s a man, and it’s a public record of what he’s accused of. I personally hope that our qb is exonerated, but that doesn’t mean I want to see weak reporting.

  8. jj730 says: Jul 21, 2009 9:18 AM

    “She has enough evidence and/or tells a sufficiently compelling story to persuade a lawyer to take the case.”
    Yea, it takes alot for a lawyer to take a case? A lawyer would take a case from a lady spilling hot coffee on herself..

  9. tkebean says: Jul 21, 2009 9:19 AM

    This happens all the time to celebrities. It’s just some low-life tramp trying to get paid. I’d be willing to bet my life savings that Ben was offered a buyout before she filed these charges to keep her mouth shut and when Ben refused, she filed suit.
    This is one big problem with the American justice system. These charges should never be able to be filed without some sort of criminal investigation.
    If she somehow gets any money out of Ben, there’s going to be a lot more “rape” cases popping up against NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB players. Easy money.

  10. fellasheowed says: Jul 21, 2009 9:19 AM

    of course calvin dunlap’s action in that proceding was largely to make unsubstantiated claims of infidelity over a period of time by the governor with two women. his contention was that he was spending large amounts of money on said women. he was unable to provide proof. if you review the case you refer to maybe you will develop a more qualified opinion of the attorney you herald.

  11. FLORIOLEADSWITNESSES says: Jul 21, 2009 9:20 AM

    They figure the less the coverage, the less the pressure on rodger goodell

  12. Football says: Jul 21, 2009 9:29 AM

    There is no way that Roethlisberger raped that girl. Everyone knows that he is into boys.

  13. ppdoc13 says: Jul 21, 2009 9:29 AM

    if Gentle Ben were black it would be splashed all over the news. no one can deny that there is racial bias in the mainstream media. i’m not going to make a judgement as to the validity of the claim so Squealer fans don’t get your jocks in an uproar, but I believe that if this were Donovan McNabb the story would have a lot more legs. FYI boys, I am not a black male, just a realistic one.

  14. theembalmed says: Jul 21, 2009 9:31 AM

    Keep an open mind my arse.
    Everyone else is guilty as soon as the news breaks, so why is his highness any different.
    He dont play WR, isnt in the NBA, and isnt black so we must keep an open mind?? (i am white by the way)
    Screw that, if everyone else is guilty and convicted by the media for alledged actions, then he should be too.
    Lets get the 24hour coverage of the evil hamburger laying his pickle improperly!!!!!

  15. mrf47 says: Jul 21, 2009 9:31 AM

    Phew. For a second I thought Ben was being accused of being a “rapper”.
    That would have been the worst album ever….

  16. Indy Pride says: Jul 21, 2009 9:37 AM

    Your article has been referenced on TMZ. If the NBC gig didn’t show you’ve arrived, the TMZ post is the definite clincher. Congrats.

  17. SC_Raven_Fan says: Jul 21, 2009 9:39 AM

    Does this put him on the Turd Watch list? I always thought he was a turd, this accusation simply confirms it.

  18. Travis_Henry's_Connect says: Jul 21, 2009 9:39 AM

    Guilty!!

  19. Unswayed says: Jul 21, 2009 9:39 AM

    Is’nt it amazing how quick the post to exercise caution comes out when it’s a White dude?
    As soon as a Black guy gets pegged it’s all hell breaks loose and thug this and thug that.
    Whenever it’s a White guy? Tread lightly. Use caution….It’s 50/50 leaning his way.
    Anyone else notice the stark differences? It’s not even a question really.

  20. olcap says: Jul 21, 2009 9:40 AM

    @denden
    To whcich BLACK ballplayer are you referring? OR, if you aren’t thinking of anyone specifically that this site dissed in a sinilar situation, can you give a close example to reinforce your charge?

  21. JPeezy says: Jul 21, 2009 9:41 AM

    Gee, I don’t know Florio. I can think of 100,000,000 reasons why a lawyer would want to represent somebody who is suing Roethlisberger…..
    A lawyer taking a case is never, ever, ever a sign that there is a legitimate claim, especially when the defendant has a $100,000,000 contract….

  22. TFBuckFutter says: Jul 21, 2009 9:43 AM

    “She has enough evidence and/or tells a sufficiently compelling story to persuade a lawyer to take the case.”
    “I can describe his penis, and he’s rich” is probably enough to get 70% of this country’s lawyers working on a claim.

  23. TFBuckFutter says: Jul 21, 2009 9:48 AM

    “Unswayed says:
    July 21, 2009 9:39 AM
    Whenever it’s a White guy? Tread lightly. Use caution….It’s 50/50 leaning his way.”
    Not great at math, are we?

  24. George C says: Jul 21, 2009 9:49 AM

    Black, white, it doesn’t matter.
    Be afraid of the DA and the prosecution team. They are the lying, dirty players in the American justice system who will cross any line to get a conviction.
    I know first hand..

  25. lololnpnp says: Jul 21, 2009 9:49 AM

    @denden you’re absolutely right, and probably the reason behind the vast INNOCENT minority population in jail….wait, what?
    Florio, stick with reporting NFL news and giving facts about law. You completely fail when giving ‘advice’ on how us children should approach situations. I’m not even going to touch on your homerism and blatant biases in some of your writings.
    “She has enough evidence and/or tells a sufficiently compelling story to persuade a lawyer to take the case.” LOLOLOLOLOLOLZZZZZ!!
    You just made my day with that comment. I assume you said it sarcastically but seeing how you write I doubt it.

  26. urbusted says: Jul 21, 2009 9:53 AM

    Come on now Florio, Admit it! Most attorneys would represent a retarded horse if they thought they could get reasonable media coverage.
    By the way, that Dot Matrix was a heck of a movie.

  27. JustinG says: Jul 21, 2009 9:54 AM

    Keep an open mind? Roethlisberger convinced the Steelers brass of his good character enough to warrant becoming a 1st round draft pick. He sufficiently focuses enough on his job to win two Superbowls since ’04 and is, even by an Eagles fan, considered to be a stand-up guy. Didn’t he just take that crappy offensive line out for a week-long vacation?
    So you’re telling me to keep an open mind notwithstanding that this McNulty person is what seems to be a maintenance lady at Harrah’s (fixes televisions? Umm ok) and Roethlisbergers good character for over four years. Maybe you, Florio, should show a little loyalty to your bread and butter. Prostitution is legal in the state of Nevada. Does Roethlisberger look like a guy that needs to bang a maintenance lady?
    Please.

  28. JimmyAlfo says: Jul 21, 2009 9:54 AM

    @ppd13 “if Gentle Ben were black it would be splashed all over the news. no one can deny that there is racial bias in the mainstream media.”
    yea, the mainstream media had nothing to do with the election of our first black president.

  29. ralphthedog says: Jul 21, 2009 9:59 AM

    Remember there are three sides to this story. his hers and the truth.
    Now, if something did happen, the question is: was it consensual, or did she have regrets afterword.
    also, his reputation is ruined or at least damaged no matter what happened.

  30. LiveNBreatheFootball says: Jul 21, 2009 10:00 AM

    Just because an attorney will take a case does not mean it is a good case:
    1. The client lied convincingly to the attorney; or
    2. The attorney just sees dollar signs. How nasty was the divorce BEFORE the attorney got involved. Some attorneys muck things up just to up their fee.
    As for the hot coffee lady, you do realize she had 3rd degree burns requiring skin grafts and McDonald’s had been warned their coffee was too hot but stated they would rather someone get burned than get complaints about cold coffee.

  31. VoxVeritas says: Jul 21, 2009 10:05 AM

    “In Roethlisberger case, it’s important to keep an open mind”
    As opposed to all other situations, when it’s just fine to lock onto one line of thinking and reject all others.

  32. Bob Nelson says: Jul 21, 2009 10:05 AM

    You and the jury can tell by one look at Roethlisberger that he is not the kind of guy that commits rape.
    Naturally the lawyer has a slimier reputation that the average slimy lawyer. Naturally he was involved in a divorce case targeting a Republican.
    If there was justice there would be penalties against slimy lawyers that file slimy cases.
    This is Washoe County and despite having Reno as part of it there are plenty of common sense Westerners that live outside of town that will be part of the jury pool.
    Civil cases are not as much a priority as criminal cases. It will take at least a year and a half but the case will be dismissed. Washoe has some very good judges that will not put of with this fabrication.
    The slimy lawyer that filed the case is just another extortionist.
    No DNA and no witnesses = no hope of winning.

  33. Ben Roetlisbunger says: Jul 21, 2009 10:05 AM

    Harvey Levin and Mike Florio are in love! It makes sense. They are both lawyers who branched out into entertainment websites.

  34. My Name is Tyler Durden says: Jul 21, 2009 10:11 AM

    I think its hilarious, Florio, that you commonly use this website to instantly pass judgment on a player before getting all the facts, yet as soon as an incident involves a beloved Steelers player, you call for people to keep an open mind. This is almost as hypocritical as you ripping on those that made fun of Senator Byrd’s advanced age while in the same breath doing the same to Ralph Wilson and Marv Levy.

  35. Samuel L. Bronkowitz says: Jul 21, 2009 10:22 AM

    I can’t figure out if you’re teabagging white athletes or lawyers in this post…
    Either way it’s the judicial system and the jury that have to be impartial, have an open mind, weight the facts, etc.
    I’m free to have my own biased opinions from the get-go.
    (I know, slow NFL news cycle until camp starts…)

  36. blackglass says: Jul 21, 2009 10:27 AM

    I will give Ben the same open mind Steeler fans gave Randy Moss when the restraining order was filed by that girl in Florida.
    Andrea McNulty Fan Club, est July 20, 2009
    Ben Rapistberger
    Classy Steelers

  37. JoeSixPack says: Jul 21, 2009 10:35 AM

    Innocent until Proven Guilty should be the standard – especially in cases where the accuser has a BIG financial incentive to falsely accuse.
    That being said, there’s guys in the NFL you can’t imagine being accused of something like this (Peyton Manning, Tom Brady…)
    Then there’s others like Roethlisberger where’s it’s less of a stretch of the imagination.

  38. buzmeg says: Jul 21, 2009 10:36 AM

    Big Ben should have hired Kobe as his attorney.

  39. Tony Dent says: Jul 21, 2009 10:40 AM

    Better hope your boy Ben was wearing his helmet this time, Pittsburgh….

  40. matthoover says: Jul 21, 2009 10:53 AM

    A look at the comments here provide a pretty good look at our society in general: race issues being brought up by minorities against white males when race has absolutely nothing to do….at all….with the issue at hand.
    This is why race issues in America won’t die. Let it go. No one owns a slave anymore. No one is preventing you from anything. Take the color filter off your brain. When we all start thinking we’re all people, not [insert color] people, then we’ll all get along much better.
    In the meantime, those of you who continuously talk about race & color only serve to further the divide. Shut up and move on for the sake of our society.

  41. promichael says: Jul 21, 2009 11:05 AM

    Mike reading the complaint would help your
    readers on this site. However to wait a full
    year, allowing Ben to win another Super
    Bowl and thereby get more fame and fortune.
    Then file a complaint where it can only come
    down to he said she said unless there is audio
    or video. Well if it looks phony it is phony!
    We are living in a 24/7 news cycle where
    there are more media outlets than we really
    need…………..which indicates that any news
    good or bad can place fame or fortune with
    news coverage in the hands of the less than
    credible. The lawyer gets publicity and a pay
    check unless he’s doing it on contingency. She
    gets the chance of a pay off to keep quite or
    perhaps write a book on the episode with
    the Athlete of the Year & Super Bowl hero.

  42. Mac says: Jul 21, 2009 11:16 AM

    “”I can describe his penis, and he’s rich” is probably enough to get 70% of this country’s lawyers working on a claim.”
    Man. am I glad that I’m part of the other 30%!

  43. bishop23 says: Jul 21, 2009 11:29 AM

    why isnt this woman filing a criminal suit…..im no legal expert but filing only a civil suit makes it look like yr going 4 the green

  44. bishop23 says: Jul 21, 2009 11:48 AM

    if this was Jamarcus Russell…..

  45. realitypolice says: Jul 21, 2009 12:19 PM

    This clearly sounds like a case of consensual sex followed by regret on the female’s part when she realized (probably within about 5 seconds of his “pulling out”) that it meant nothing to the male and that said male had no intention of fulfilling whatever vague promises he made her about it not being a one night stand.
    Before anyone calls me a racist, this was also pretty much the scenario I believe took place in the Kobe Bryant case.
    The fact that there are so many witnesses that saw them talking in the hallway helps his case, not hers. Obviously, given the gossipy nature of hotel/restaurant/bar staffs (if you’ve ever worked in one, you know) lots of people knew where she was and what she was doing, which would be more even more embarrassing when everyone realized he had used her.
    As for the “lawyer taking the case” argument, give me a break. A drunk driver slammed into my sister’s car while she was stopped at a light and sued HER for his injuries- and a lawyer took the case.

  46. TFBuckFutter says: Jul 21, 2009 12:19 PM

    “JoeSixPack says:
    July 21, 2009 10:35 AM
    That being said, there’s guys in the NFL you can’t imagine being accused of something like this (Peyton Manning, Tom Brady…)”
    Peyton Manning had to pay off a female athletic trainer after rubbing his naked junk in her face, and then getting her fired when she complained, when he was in college.
    He then fondly reminisced a censored version of it in a book, showing he hadn’t actually learned anything.

  47. jayfire21 says: Jul 21, 2009 12:43 PM

    An open mind???? You guys make T.O. look like the biggest criminal and Percy Harvin like a thug without much proof yet this guy is being alleged with rape and I should keep an open mind …
    I do hope hes innocent but it seems unfair the way we treat some players …
    Good luck Big Ben …

  48. footballtech says: Jul 21, 2009 1:02 PM

    We know he is a lier look at the touch down that he had in his first super bowl. He didn’t make it but he took it. Let him burn, if he did it he should go down………………….

  49. QBall says: Jul 21, 2009 1:25 PM

    JimmyAlfo says: “yea, the mainstream media had nothing to do with the election of our first black president.”
    I thought Bill Clinton was our first black president…

  50. HawgNSonsTV says: Jul 21, 2009 3:28 PM

    Open mind is the dangerous philosophy that anything is possible….Florio you should have said , an Active mind.

  51. urbusted says: Jul 21, 2009 3:50 PM

    Mac says:
    July 21, 2009 11:16 AM
    “”I can describe his penis, and he’s rich” is probably enough to get 70% of this country’s lawyers working on a claim.”
    Man. am I glad that I’m part of the other 30%!
    Yea, Most lawyers would do it for a good description of the penis. At the very least, I think the NFL will have to consider suspending Ben’s penis for the 2009 season.

  52. dana says: Jul 23, 2009 10:50 PM

    Ok, that’s right, let’s make this a racial issue. Why can’t you people look at it as anyone that is a big time Professional is open to these allegations. I don’t care if you are black, white, green or blue, if you are a professional ballplayer, you are open to these allegations.
    What if funny is that she didn’t file criminal charges, Why? May because she didn’t have any evidence…remember, there is such a thing as a rape kit and dna. Come on, this is another woman out to get her 15 minutes of fame and to put a bad light on a good guy.
    I wish that woman like her didn’t exist because she give woman like me a bad name. Also, maybe these casino should wise up and have a full staff of detectives investigating there people

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