Coworker: Assault claim is not true

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The Nevada woman who in a civil lawsuit accused Ben Roethlisberger of sexually assaulting her last year boasted to a co-worker of having consensual sex with the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback and said she hoped he had impregnated her, according to a sworn affidavit filed in court in Washoe County, Nev.

Shortly after telling former co-worker Angela Antonetti she'd had a tryst with the quarterback during a celebrity golf tournament at Harrah's Lake Tahoe, the 31-year-old woman "expressed to me she was hoping for a 'little Roethlisberger,' " Ms. Antonetti said in the affidavit filed Friday. The women both worked as casino hosts at Harrah's.

Ms. Antonetti also said the woman asked her to travel to Pittsburgh in August 2008 for a Steelers game and to try to "run into" Mr. Roethlisberger. Around the same time, Ms. Antonetti said, the woman asked her to obtain Mr. Roethlisberger's cell phone number from a Harrah's executive casino host. She said she told the woman it was inappropriate and improper for her to use Harrah's resources to try to contact the quarterback.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette does not identify accusers or victims of sexual assault. The woman's attorney, Calvin R.W. Dunlap, said he had not received Ms. Antonetti's affidavit and had no reaction to it.

Mr. Roethlisberger has denied sexually assaulting the woman. His attorney, William David Cornwell, yesterday said, "We will let our [court] filing speak for itself" and declined further comment.

In her affidavit, Ms. Antonetti said the woman was upset in the summer of 2007 about a married man ending a relationship with her. After that breakup, Ms. Antonetti said, the woman said she had started an online romance with "Ben," a U.S. soldier serving in Iraq but discovered after the 2008 golf tournament that the online relationship was a hoax. That incident made her "very emotionally distraught," Ms. Antonetti said. Weeks later, the woman took a leave of absence from work from September until around Thanksgiving.

Ms. Antonetti, who said she left Harrah's to be an executive casino host at the Atlantis in Reno, said the two met for lunch in March. Ms. Antonetti said the woman told her she was going to sue Harrah's, that she had a great lawyer and "the lawsuit would be big news that I would definitely hear about."

The woman's lawsuit against Mr. Roethlisberger also includes a number of Harrah's employees whom she claims tried to cover up the assault she alleged. Ms. Antonetti said she was "absolutely shocked" on July 21 when she learned that the woman had claimed Mr. Roethlisberger had assaulted her "because I knew [her] allegation ... was false."


Kaitlynn Riely contributed. Michael A. Fuoco can be reached at mfuoco@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1968.


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