Steelers receiver Santonio Holmes named in lawsuit

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A woman has sued Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Santonio Holmes for allegedly assaulting her March 7 at a nigthclub in Orlando, Fla.

Anshonae Mills accused Mr. Holmes of throwing a glass at her, striking her below the eyebrow. The complaint said Ms. Mills was cut and temporarily blinded from the liquor in the glass.

Ms. Mills said police did not write a report and claimed the Orlando Police Department pressured her to not press charges.

Mr. Holmes allegedly told Ms. Mills he was a professional football player and "could not get into trouble," the suit said. She claims he offered to give her money, but no details are given in the four-page complaint.


Documents related to the incident involving Santonio Holmes. Anshonoe Mills' name is misspelled in the court filing.

Earlier today, a post that apparently refers to the suit appeared on Mr. Holmes' Twitter account. It reads: "Before anyone decides to state unknown fact, please do research 1st. In the end it makes you look like the fool!"

The suit was filed Wednesday in the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida. It accused Mr. Holmes of battery, assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Ms. Mills said she was in the club's VIP area with three college friends and sat on the arm of a couch when Mr. Holmes told her to "get up," according to the suit.

She refused. Mr. Holmes yelled and waved his arms, the suit said. Ms. Mills grabbed Mr. Holmes' hand "in self-defense to prevent him from hitting her or touching her," the suit said.

Mr. Holmes yanked his hand away; the two argued, prompting other patrons to step between the two.

Then, the suit claims, Mr. Holmes threw his glass at Ms. Mills.

Also named as a defendant is J.J. Whispers Group Inc., which runs the nightclub, called Rain. The company is accused of negligence for failing to protect Ms. Mills.

In that section of the suit, Mr. Holmes is described as "intoxicated, quarrelsome and arrogant..."

Club employees did nothing to intervene, the suit claims, and "refused to reprimand or remove defendant Holmes based on his celebrity status."

Orlando police Sgt. Barbara Jones today confirmed that a victim statement from Ms. Mills exists, but she did not know the status of the case or whether a police report would be generated from the incident.

Steelers spokesman Dave Lockett said the team was looking into the allegations.

"We just found out today. We're gathering information and have no further comment at this time," he said.

Jonathan D. Silver: or 412-263-1962.


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