New York PR Firm Won't Represent Second Dancer At Lacrosse Party
Posted April 24, 2006 8:24 a.m. EDT
DURHAM, N.C. — The chief executive officer of a New York public relations firm said his company will not be representing the second exotic dancer at a Duke men's lacrosse team party on the night another dancer said she was gang-raped and beaten by three members of the team.
Ronn Torossian said 5W Public Relations would not be representing Kim Roberts on any sides in the lacrosse scandal, which has received nationwide attention in the media.
Last week, in an interview with The Associated Press, Roberts said she sent an e-mail to the firm, which specializes in "crisis communication."
"I've found myself in the center of one of the biggest stories in the country," she wrote. "I'm worried about letting this opportunity pass me by without making the best of it and was wondering if you had any advice as to how to spin this to my advantage."
The e-mail was signed "The 2nd Dancer."
Roberts, like the accuser, a divorced single mother who is black, took umbrage at the notion that she should not try to make something out of her experience. She is worried that once her name and criminal record are public, no one will want to hire her.
"Why shouldn't I profit from it?" she asked during an interview with the AP. "I didn't ask to be in this position ... I would like to feed my daughter."
Defense attorneys for some of the lacrosse players said that Roberts initially told them that she doubted the accuser's allegations of rape, but said in the AP interview that she could never be sure because she was not in the bathroom where the alleged rape occurred.
"In all honesty, I think they're guilty," Roberts said. "And I can't say which ones are guilty ... but somebody did something besides underage drinking. That's my honest-to-God impression."
Roberts also acknowledged that she made a phone call to Durham County 911 during which she complained she had been called racial slurs by white men gathered outside the house where the party took place. She said she made the call because she was angry.
Roberts drove herself to the party and said she could have left anytime, but she said, "I didn't want to leave her with them."
Roberts then drove the accuser -- whom she had just met that night -- to a grocery store and asked a security guard to call 911. The accuser was described later by a police officer as "just passed-out drunk."