An attorney for Dallas Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis said Monday that a woman accusing him of rape is lying in an attempt to extort the Latvian basketball star.
ESPN and the New York Post have reported details of the accusations, which stem from an alleged incident last year and were reported to police last week, but CNN has not been able to confirm the majority of the reports.
Porzingis’ attorney, though, lambasted the Post’s report, and said if the New York Police Department leaked information to the newspaper without first conducting an investigation, it would be “a shame.”
“It was utterly irresponsible for the New York Post to publish a story that was a result of an irresponsible leak by the police,” lawyer Roland Riopelle told CNN.
“It was terribly irresponsible of the police department to make statements about a situation that was referred to federal authorities regarding extortion. When the facts come out, he will be completely exonerated. The public will learn the woman has committed fraud in the past. It’s a long, ugly story.”
The New York police’s special victims unit is investigating the matter, Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said without elaborating. No charges have been filed against Porzingis.
“There is an active investigation regarding the matter,” he said.
CNN’s attempts to reach the accuser were not successful.
Porzingis’ attorneys are in contact with New York prosecutors and have agreed to provide them with “materials that we previously provided to the federal authorities in support of our extortion complaint,” Riopelle said.
“We are confident that, after the district attorney reviews these materials, they will recognize that the complaint made in this case is completely meritless,” he added.
Porzingis played for the New York Knicks at the time and was traded to the Mavericks in January.
A Dallas Mavericks spokeswoman said the team has no comment on the situation, while the Knicks told CNN, “This is Kristaps’ personal matter and not related to the Knicks.” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said, “We are aware of the situation.”
The National Basketball Players Association says it backs Porzingis.
“We have been aware of these allegations for some time, have evaluated the accuser’s claims and, based on what is presently before us, stand with Kristaps,” said Michele Roberts, executive director of the players’ union.
CNN’s Mark Morales contributed to this report.