Local News

Duke lacrosse accuser to promote book in Durham

Posted October 17, 2008 11:00 p.m. EDT
Updated October 23, 2008 12:53 p.m. EDT

— The woman at the center of the scandal that rocked Duke University, Durham and the lives of the three lacrosse players plans to return to the city next week to promote her new book.

Crystal Gail Mangum is scheduled to hold a news conference at the Know Bookstore on Thursday to promote, “The Last Dance for Grace: The Crystal Mangum Story.”

Magnum will donate $1 from the purchase of each book to help battered women, according to Vincent Clark, a representative for Fire! Products Inc., a film studio that is representing her.

Mangum was a student enrolled at North Carolina Central University in March 2006 and also worked as an exotic dancer when she performed at a party hosted by several Duke lacrosse players.

It was at that party, Mangum alleged, that three white members of the team trapped her inside a bathroom and raped and sexually assaulted her. David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann were later indicted on the allegations.

"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 in an August interview.

A divorced mother of three, Mangum hasn't spoken publicly about the case, other than granting a single interview in the early days of the investigation.

Then-District Attorney Mike Nifong dismissed rape charges against Evans, Finnerty and Seligmann in December 2006 after Mangum said she was not certain she was raped.

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper dismissed the remaining charges of sexual assault and kidnapping in April 2007 and declared the former players innocent.

Evans graduated from Duke in 2006; after they were cleared, Seligmann transferred to Brown University and Finnerty to Loyola College.

The attorney general's office – which never pursued a case against Mangum, saying she likely believed the allegations – has not commented on the book.

Clark said Mangum, who graduated last spring from NCCU, is still living in Raleigh and is looking into law or graduate school.