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Dak Prescott files lawsuit accusing woman of $100 million extortion scheme

Dak Prescott files lawsuit accusing woman of $100 million extortion scheme

Tooba Shakir 54 years ago 0 2

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott filed a lawsuit against a woman he is accusing of an attempted $100 million extortion scheme.

Also targeted by Prescott’s lawsuit, filed in Collin County, Tex., against the woman, are her attorneys, Bethel Zehaie and Yoel Zehaie.

The woman and her legal team have “threatened to go public with a completely fabricated story of sexual assault from nearly a decade ago,” an attorney for Prescott said Monday in a statement. They made a demand of $100 million to prevent her from “pressing false charges with the authorities,” said the Dallas-based attorney, Levi McCathern.

Instead, said McCathern, Prescott reported the alleged actions of the woman and her lawyers to authorities, whose investigation into the matter will receive his full cooperation.

“Dak and his lawyers are trying to be bullies and play hardball and victim blame,” Bethel Zehaie said Monday night in an emailed statement to The Washington Post. “We are not afraid of the truth.”

The lawsuit lists as causes of action: defamation and slander; civil extortion/duress; business disparagement; tortious interference with current and/or prospective business relations; civil conspiracy; and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

“Mr. Prescott — a new father to a baby girl — has great empathy for survivors of sexual assault,” McCathern said in a statement. “He fervently believes that all perpetrators of such crimes should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. To be clear, Mr. Prescott has never engaged in any nonconsensual, sexual conduct with anyone. Lies hurt. Especially, malicious lies. We will not allow the Defendant and her legal team to profit from this attempt to extort millions from Mr. Prescott.”

“Dak is a liar and a rapist,” Bethel Zehaie said in her statement, after being asked for comment on the lawsuit.

At issue is an alleged encounter between Prescott and the woman in February 2017, several weeks after he completed a remarkably effective rookie season for the Cowboys in place of the injured Tony Romo.

The lawsuit attached a January 2024 letter sent by Bethel Zehaie and Yoel Zehaie to Prescott that was addressed to the athletics department at Mississippi State, where the quarterback went to college. In the letter, the woman was said to have entered a vehicle with Prescott and two members of his “entourage.” Prescott was alleged to have exposed himself to the woman, who “made sure” to verbally express her lack of interest in sexual intercourse. At that point, others in the vehicle were said to have departed so Prescott could be alone with her and he was accused of using physical force to commit sexual assault, including vaginal penetration.

Their client “has had to live with this pain and trauma for 7 years,” read the letter, as shown in Prescott’s legal filing. “It affected her relationship with her fiancé and her everyday existence so much that she had to attend therapy and counseling and will require future therapy and counseling. She has suffered mental anguish that is unimaginable dealing with the trauma of being a sexual assault of victim [sic].

“Despite the tragic events,” the letter continued, “she is willing to forego pursuing criminal charges, along with disclosing this information to the public, in exchange for compensating her for the mental anguish she has suffered. [The woman’s] damages are valued at the sum of $100,000,000.00.”

The lawyers, based in Arlington, Tex., added in the letter that Prescott had until Feb. 16 to respond, and that they hoped to “resolve this matter privately and amicably.”

Noting in bold that it has been “seven years since the alleged assault,” Prescott’s lawyers said in their filing that the woman’s actions since then “are consistent with being involved with only consensual actions” with the quarterback. They added, “The fact that Mr. Prescott did not hear a single negative thing about this supposed interaction from nearly a decade ago is truly telling of Defendants’ motives.”

After receiving the letter from Bethel Zehaie and Yoel Zehaie, McCathern said in the lawsuit that he and his team reached out to them. The woman’s attorneys were said to have “confirmed on a phone call that (1) all civil causes of action have expired, and (2) the sole reason for their demand of one hundred million dollars from Mr. Prescott was to forego criminal charges and for not making the alleged ‘assault’ public.”

In her response Monday, Bethel Zehaie wrote, “In our initial conversations with his lawyer Levi, [Prescott] adamantly denied knowing our client. In our next conversation just a week or so later, not only did he confirm knowing [her] but also confirmed that he was with her the same night she was sexually assaulted. Not one time prior to this lawsuit being filed did he deny this incident. We stand by the truth.”

“This young lady was in absolute tears in my office,” she added of her client. “Dak needs to be held accountable for his behavior.”

McCathern said in his statement that the “false claims” of Prescott’s accuser “undermine the courage of actual sexual assault survivors everywhere, as well as the legitimacy of the horrific traumas they have endured.”

The lawsuit is seeking monetary relief of more than $1 million, including damages and other possible penalties.

McCathern said that Prescott, who is entering the final year of a $160 million contract with the Cowboys, would donate any money collected from his legal action to a charitable foundation created by “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” star Mariska Hargitay that focuses on addressing sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse.

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