Local News

Duke lacrosse accuser writes memoir

Posted August 21, 2008 11:00 p.m. EDT
Updated August 22, 2008 11:59 a.m. EDT

— The woman at the center of the scandal that rocked Duke University, Durham and the lives of the three lacrosse players she accused of raping her is coming out with a book.

"The Last Dance for Grace: The Crystal Mangum Story" is scheduled for publication in early October, according to Vincent Clark, a representative for Fire! Products Inc., a film studio that is representing her.

Magnum will donate $1 from the purchase of each book to help battered women, Clark said.

Crystal Gail 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.

The players could not be reached for comment Friday, and their attorneys either had no comment or were unavailable Friday morning.

According to a news release Thursday, published reports portrayed Mangum as "a gold-digging hooker searching for a big payday or as an unstable, troubled young woman."

"The truth about Crystal's life, her account of what happened on March 13, 2006, accusations and the motives of the people criticizing her were never seriously explored," the release said."

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 University.

The attorney general's office – which never pursued a case against Mangum, saying she likely believed the allegations – declined to comment Friday.

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