Former NBA star Dwight Howard is asking that the bombshell lawsuit accusing him of sexual assault and abuse be dismissed.
Howard’s lawyers allege that the meeting between their client and Stephen Harper involved a consensual meeting involving a third person at Howard’s Georgia residence in July 2021. according to a Thursday filing obtained by ESPN.
Harper filed a lawsuit in July, alleging that Howard and Harper began corresponding via Instagram direct messages, with Harper initiating the exchange. Harper accused Howard of sexually assaulting him during the subsequent meeting in July 2021 at the latter’s home.
In the original filingHarper included alleged screenshots of messages exchanged between Harper and Howard from 2021, along with an Uber receipt to Howard’s home on the night of the incident.
Howard denied the allegations in Octoberand ask that the case be dismissed.
Howard’s lawyers claims that key text messages were deleted and do not appear in Harper’s initial complaint. The filing, according to ESPN, contains those new messages along with several that Howard’s lawyers claim were doctored.
“In short, the entirety of the text messages between Mr. Howard and Mr. Harper makes it very clear that Mr. Harper’s claims are frivolous, that he was a willing participant in the events of July 19, 2021 and the early morning hours. of July 20, 2021, and that the touching of his person was invited by him,” Howard’s lawyers wrote in Thursday’s filing.
“More importantly, the explicit messages show not only consent, but also that Mr. Harper of the sexual contact. Mr. Harper not only invited the initial experience, but tried to initiate a second encounter because the first was so fun. Since it is undisputed that Mr. Harper consented to the touch between him and Mr. Howard, fail mr. Harper’s demands necessarily, and mr. Howard is entitled to summary judgment as the express consent negates the essential element of intent and the assault claims. , Battery, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress fall like a house of cards.”
Harper’s lawyers did not immediately respond to ESPN’s request for comment.
Howard’s lawyers now claim, according to the Thursday filing, that the incident is “nothing more than a classic case of unrequited love. After one consensual event together, Mr. Howard no longer interested in Mr. Harper’s company.”
The filing also alleges that Howard received multiple payment demands over the course of a year, each from different legal representatives.
The 38-year-old Howard has been harassed for a long time rumors about his sexuality.