Wanetta Gibson, the woman who falsely accused her then-high school classmate Brian Banks of rape, derailing his promising football career and sending him to prison, has been ordered to pay back the money she received when she sued the school where she claimed the rape took place.
A judge ordered Gibson to pay the Long Beach Unified School District $2.6 million, which includes the $750,000 settlement she received from the district as well as interest, legal fees and $1 million in punitive damages.
“The court recognizes that our school district was a victim in this case,” school Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser told the Long Beach Press-Telegram. “This judgment demonstrates that when people attempt to defraud our school system, they will feel the full force of the law.”
The judgment may turn out to be largely symbolic: Gibson didn’t show up in court and apparently has long since blown through the $750,000. Court records in other cases Gibson has been involved in indicate that she and her children have received public assistance.
After Banks was released from prison, Gibson contacted him, and he secretly recorded a conversation in which she acknowledged that her rape claim was false. Among the statements Gibson made on tape were, “I will go through with helping you, but all that money they gave us, I mean, gave me, I don’t want to have to pay it back.”
Banks is now hoping to jump-start his football career as a 27-year-old rookie for the Falcons.