Woman's affidavit supports Roethlisberger's denial of sexual assault
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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 at that time 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., late Friday.
Shortly after telling former co-worker Angela Antonetti about the tryst during a celebrity golf tournament at Harrah's Lake Tahoe, where both worked as casino hosts, the 31-year-old woman "expressed to me she was hoping for a 'little Roethlisberger,'" Ms. Antonetti said in her affidavit.
Moreover, Ms. Antonetti said, the woman asked her to travel to Pittsburgh in August 2008 for a Steeler's game and to try to "run into" Mr. Roethlisberger. "I told her that she shouldn't try to chase 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 to use Harrah's resources to try to contact the quarterback.
The Post-Gazette does not identify people who allege to be sexual abuse victims.
In the affidavit, Ms. Antonetti said the woman, in the summer of 2007, was upset about a married man ending a relationship with her. Shortly after that breakup, she told Ms. Antonetti she had started an online romance with "Ben," a U.S. soldier serving in Iraq. Later, in late 2007, she said she had fallen in love with him and they had become engaged.
After the 2008 golf tournament, however, the woman confided to Ms. Antonetti that the online romance was a hoax someone had perpetrated on her, an incident that made her "very emotionally distraught." Weeks later, she took a leave of absence from work from September until around Thanksgiving.
Ms. Antonetti, who left Harrah's for a new opportunity as an executive casino host at the Atlantis in Reno, said the two had lunch in March. The woman told Ms. Antonetti 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 fellow employees at Harrah's whom she claims tried to cover up the alleged assault.
Ms. Antonetti said she was "absolutely shocked" on July 21 when she heard on the radio that the woman had claimed Mr. Roethlisberger had assaulted her "because I knew [her] allegation ....was false.
"Because I knew that [her] lawsuit and false allegations would unfairly and unjustly hurt Mr. Roethlisberger, I wanted to set the story straight," she said in the affidavit, part of a motion filed by two other defendants to move the case from Washoe County to Douglas County.
In an e-mail response to a request for comment, Mr. Roethlisberger's lawyer, William David Cornwall said: "We will let our filing speak for itself. Unfortunately, as all of our communications with Ben are confidential, it is not appropriate discuss them in any manner."
First Published August 8, 2009 3:09 pm