|Sides agree to extend restraining order; Washington changes lawyers|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 28 January 2008 13:50|
Moss' lawyer, Richard Sharpstein, said the decision came at a hearing in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., after he learned the player's longtime friend changed attorneys. She obtained the order Jan. 14.
Rachelle Washington's new attorney is Darrell Thompson, who replaces David McGill. A spokesman for Thompson confirmed the change. McGill did not return calls.
The temporary order requires Moss to stay at least 500 feet from Washington. No criminal charge has been brought. Washington, 35, alleged they had been in an ``intimate relationship'' since 1997.
Moss has denied the accusation by Washington that he committed ``battery causing serious injury'' to her at her Florida home Jan. 6. Washington did not attend Monday's session, Sharpstein said.
``He will stay completely away from her and has no desire to have contact with her,'' the lawyer told The Associated Press. ``He's in Phoenix busy preparing to win the Super Bowl and on a day like today his mind is elsewhere.''
Moss defended his conduct during an interview in the Patriots' locker room on Jan. 16. Four days later, New England beat San Diego 21-12 in the AFC championship game at Foxborough. For the second straight game, he caught just one pass.
On draft day last April, the Patriots sent a 2007 fourth-round draft choice to Oakland for Moss. He set an NFL season record of 23 touchdown catches, breaking Jerry Rice's mark by one. He finished tied for eighth in the league with 98 catches and second with 1,493 yards receiving.
Moss said the Washington has been a friend for 11 years and she asked for ``six figures'' for what he said was an accident in which she was hurt.
``They're false allegations, something I've been battling for like the last couple of days of threats going public if I didn't pay X amount of dollars,'' Moss said. ``This young lady by no means is hurt. I didn't hurt her.''
Sharpstein said Monday that McGill told him if Moss didn't agree to pay ``a great deal of money'' by 5 p.m. on Jan. 11, the day before the Patriots beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 31-20 in an AFC divisional playoff game, McGill would go public.
``It's blackmail,'' Sharpstein said. ``Extortion is the technical crime.''
McGill issued a statement Jan. 17, saying that Moss' representatives were the first to suggest that Moss pay the woman to keep the issue quiet.
``She has suffered mental and physical harm as a result of his actions,'' the statement said. ``She simply wants him to take responsibility for what he has done. As a battery victim, she has shown great strength throughout this entire ordeal.''
Washington also alleged that Moss refused to allow her to seek medical treatment. Moss denied that. Neither McGill nor Sharpstein has specified the nature of an injury.
``He has acknowledged that he was at Ms. Washington's Florida residence and that he was 'guilty' of an 'accident' which occurred,'' the statement said.