As first reported by TomahawkNation's Patrick Nohe and promised months ago by Jameis Winston's attorney, David Cornwell, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and former Florida State quarterback has filed a countersuit against Erica Kinsman, the woman who accused him of sexual assault after an encounter in December 2012.
Kinsman filed suit against Winston on April 16 for sexual battery, assault, false imprisonment and intentionally inflicting emotional distress in that December 2012 encounter.
Winston is countersuing Kinsman for defamation, defamation per se and tortious interference with prospective business advantage, claiming Kinsman knowingly slandered him with the result that Winston's future earnings potential has been significantly decreased.
There is little question that the sexual assault allegation against Winston, which has received a remarkable amount of media coverage over the past two years, has negatively impacted Winston's earnings. Take note, for example, of the fact that Nike has custom "Mahalo Marcus" t-shirts touting #2 NFL draft pick Marcus Mariota in its online store, while gear touting top draft pick Winston is not available.
Nevertheless, it is much more difficult to win any sort of judgment in such a case, as Winston and his team would essentially have to demonstrate that Kinsman has knowingly perpetuated a lie throughout this process, which—whether true or not—is extremely difficult to prove.
The one thing the Winston camp will have in their favor in that regard is the conflict between the testimony Kinsman delivered during the Florida State Code of Conduct Hearing—in which she asserted in response to a question that she was not claiming to have been intoxicated or drugged—and her claims in the documentary film, "The Hunting Ground," in which she returns to her earlier assertions that she had been intoxicated or drugged. As might be expected, the documentary is cited in the filing.
Although this suit only names Kinsman, Cornwell had initially threatened to include Kinsman's attorneys in the lawsuit—a move that would significantly increase the costs of their work, which is done on contingency—so do not be surprised if Winston later files an additional counterclaim naming others involved on Kinsman's side.
Stay tuned to NoleDigest.com for more analysis as these cases move forward.