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Duke lacrosse attorney hopes accuser admits she lied

Posted August 22, 2008

— If Crystal Mangum doesn't admit in her forthcoming memoir that she lied about three Duke University lacrosse players raping her, then she should face civil action, a defense attorney who represented one of the players in the high-profile criminal case said Friday.

"My advice would be that if this book comes out and it contains things that are not true about what happened on that evening … it would be my advice to them to make sure she doesn't make one single penny off of it," Joseph Cheshire, who represented David Evans, said. (Watch Cheshire's full interview.)

But if the book is an account of what happened on the evening of March 13, 2006: "I think it would be fabulous, and I don't think anybody would think badly about her in any way, shape or form," Cheshire said.

Mangum, a divorced mother of three and a student at North Carolina Central University, was at the center of the scandal, which tarnished the reputations of the three men she accused, destroyed the career of a veteran prosecutor and sparked an uproar over race, class and justice.

Her book, "The Last Dance for Grace: The Crystal Mangum Story," set to be released in October, is about her life story, the troubles she faces and the decisions she has made, publisher Vincent Clark said Friday. (Read more about the book.)

"Part of this book is a catharsis for her," Clark said. "The book is more about some choices that she's made in her life that she's regretful about."

Other than a single interview granted in the early days of the investigation, Mangum hasn't spoken publicly about what happened at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd., where the Duke lacrosse team hired Mangum and another dancer to perform at a party.

That night ultimately led to Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann being indicted on charges of rape, sexual assault and kidnapping. More than a year later, on April 11, 2007, North Carolina's attorney general declared them innocent of all wrongdoing and said Mangum likely believed her accusations.

Evans , Finnerty and Seligmann asked that she not be pursued criminally, Cheshire said, because, "We felt sorry for her, and we felt to some degree, she had been victimized by the process."

"We wanted it to be over, and clearly she doesn't want it to be over," Cheshire added.

Other attorneys who represented the three men during the criminal case, as well as attorneys representing them in a federal civil rights lawsuit, declined to comment Friday. The attorney general's office also declined to comment.


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  • lilreno is in the wind Aug 25, 2008


  • 68_polara Aug 25, 2008

    This would make a good movie if Bonfire of the Vanities hadn't already been made.

  • Gilgamesh 2 Aug 22, 2008

    Let the woman have her voice heard.People always want someone to hold their feeling inside while they speak their minds themselves.Let her speak ,Someone still forgets that the orginal actions by both parties were wrong actions from tbe begining,Neither parties came into this situation comepletely clean,,,,,,,,it`s be a good little girl and be silent...no way,,,speak out

  • FloydTurbo Aug 22, 2008

    I'm SURE (!!) the fine folks "advising" Ms Mangum have nothing but her very best interests at heart ...... yeah right.

    Her life of "bad choices" just got another chapter. Joe, Wade and "The Dream Team" will make mincemeat of this absurdity.

  • NMBound Aug 22, 2008

    There is no way that I would ever purchase the book! The other issue I have about what she did is that when someone is really raped and they make the tough decision to come forward, there will be this black cloud hanging over their heads. Don't get me wrong, it won't be an intentional cloud, but it will be a cloud nonetheless. I agree she is a coward and is a horrible example for her children! I wish I could agree that she was the reason for the downfall of Nifong, but he has to take the responsibility for his own actions. He made the decision to be untruthful and to some extent he had a greater duty to be more honest than she did. Has the NAACP ever apologized either for jumping on the case of the Duke lacrosse players who turned out to be innocent?

  • didyouhearme Aug 22, 2008

    WRAL needs to leave her face off of the tube! don't give her publicity! They didn't give it to her during the trial!
    She was an embarassment to NC, Durham, the justice system, our courts and to any woman who has been raped. I THOUGHT The only way she could make money was with dirty dancing. NOw she's writing books and we're plastering her name and picture on the news. Too bad they didn't do that during the trial. She needs to be behind bars.

  • jprdar Aug 22, 2008

    What is the statute of limitations of filing a false rape claim, if she mentions anything about that night, I see a civil suit, and very possibly a criminal case in the making. Who is giving this idiot advice, the people who will make money, or the family? It was sad then, and still is today.

  • JofNC Aug 22, 2008

    I see... she couldn't force a penny out of the innocent, so she'll just steal it by writing fiction?

    It should be Science Fiction, b/c no one would want a peice of that!

  • For-Better-Or-Worse Aug 22, 2008

    This is what the case has been about all along, the almighty dollar.

  • didyouhearme Aug 22, 2008

    They need to stop publication!! Put a stop to this! Can you imagine??? She is going to make money off of this!! HORRID!! SHAME ON YOU!!! Do something JOE!
    I like your comment tarheelsdont- "How I helped bring Nifong down". your comment was funny, and then I read your signature..