Patriots' Moss goes public with 'extortion' allegations

Mike Petraglia, PA SportsTicker Published: Wednesday, January 16, 2008

FOXBOROUGH, Massachusetts-- Four days before playing for the chance to get to his first Super Bowl, New England Patriots star wide receiver Randy Moss says he is the victim of extortion in an alleged assault and battery case.
Moss spoke twice in the Patriots locker room Wednesday, the second time getting into specifics about charges from longtime acquaintance Rachelle Washington.

Moss, a resident of Orlando, Florida, said he was asked for a financial settlement from the woman over an incident he termed was an 'accident' between the two . The woman, in an affidavit filed in Broward County, claims Moss asked her not to seek medical attention.

A restraining order was issued over the woman's claims of "dating violence." There were no further details provided of exactly what happened between the two, or when or where the alleged incident happened.

"Over an accident, six figures," Moss said when asked how much Washington was seeking in damages. "All I know is that it's a friend of mine, a young lady, it was an accident where she hurt herself, to where they called me, called my attorneys, trying to get X amount of dollars out of me, and if 'we don't get X amount of dollars' they were going to go to the press before this game."

Moss said he is trying to put this behind him and get ready for San Diego, New England's AFC title game opponent this Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

"I'm not mad or bitter but I'm mad at the situation of extortion, yes, I'm mad about that," Moss said. "For an accident to occur, stuff does happen."

Moss, working with NFL MVP Tom Brady, thrived for the 17-0 Patriots, setting a single-season record of 23 touchdown catches.

"I can't ever be happy because this is something negative, black cloud hanging over my head," Moss said. "This is something I did not want coming into the season, anything negative. Everything I tried to do from getting here early and making sure I eat the right food all the way to practicing and playing good. I wanted all of it to be A-plus."

Moss said Wednesday he took the initiative to tell Patriots coach Bill Belichick of the charges made known this week by the Florida woman.

"The only reason I went to coach I knew the magnitude of something like this," Moss said. "I knew how it would take off. If I'm guilty, I am truly sorry. I am going to stand up for what is right, I really am."

Moss missed going to the Super Bowl nine years ago when the Minnesota Vikings lost to the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC championship game.

"I've known this woman 11 years," Moss added. "I don't wish anything bad on this woman. That's the love I have for her as a friend . Even though these allegations are false, or whatever she is claiming, I really can't be mad at that. If she's hurting and she needs money, that's on her."