Moss says longtime friend trying to get money with allegations

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Randy Moss joined the Patriots this
season determined to avoid off-field problems. Now he's in the
middle of one, just days before Sunday's AFC Championship Game.

A temporary restraining order was issued Monday requiring the
star wide receiver to stay at least 500 feet from a woman who
alleged he committed "battery causing serious injury" to her at
her Florida home on Jan. 6.

Moss denied the allegation by Rachelle Washington, which he
called "this situation of extortion," and said he was "furious"
about it. The restraining order was issued in the Broward County
17th Judicial Circuit of Florida.

A hearing on whether to issue a permanent restraining order is
scheduled for 3 p.m. Jan. 28, six days before the Super Bowl.

Moss does not have to appear at the hearing, the clerk of the court told ESPN. He has hired Florida attorney Richard Sharpstein, who has told Moss' longtime attorney in Minneapolis, Joe Friedberg, that he may ask for a continuance until after the Super Bowl.

Moss can also just allow the restraining order filed by Rachelle Washington to stand, and become a permanent court order. "I can tell you Randy has no desire to go within 500 feet of that lady," Friedberg told ESPN's Sal Paolantonio.

Moss broke his usual midweek silence as he was surrounded by two
dozen reporters and 10 videocameras at his locker on Wednesday. He
didn't identify the woman but said she has been a friend for 11
years and that she asked for "six figures" for what he said was
an accident in which she was hurt.

"I want to make something clear," Moss said. "In my whole
entire life of living 30 years, I've never put my hand on one
woman, physically or in an angry manner."

Melissa Miller, an assistant to David McGill, the Miami-based attorney representing Washington, told ESPN.com "At this time there is no comment on the situation."

Asked if Washington was aware of comments from Moss alleging that she was seeking money to keep quiet, Miller said "We have no comment on anything."

A telephone
message left by The Associated Press with Moss' attorney, Jim
DiPiero, was not immediately returned.

In his previous nine seasons -- seven with Minnesota and two with
Oakland -- Moss was involved in several off-field incidents.

"This is a negative," he said of the latest allegation, "a
black cloud hanging over my head, and that's something that I did
not want coming into the season. ... Everything I tried to do from
getting here early, to make sure I eat the right food, all the way
to practicing and playing, I wanted all of that to be A-plus.

"Everything's been positive, so why would I bring something
negative on. As much as I care and love the game of football and
love my teammates, I would never put myself or them in a situation
of something like this."

With the Vikings, he was criticized by quarterback
Daunte Culpepper and others for leaving the field with 2 seconds left in a
regular-season loss to Washington. He bumped a traffic control
officer with his car in 2002, verbally abused corporate sponsors on
a team bus in 2001 and squirted an official with a water bottle in

On draft day last April, the Patriots sent a 2007 fourth-round
draft choice to Oakland for Moss, who has avoided off-field
problems this season and been hailed by Patriots players as an
excellent teammate and leader.

Undefeated New England plays the San Diego Chargers in the AFC
Championship Game in Foxborough on Sunday, thanks in part to Moss,
who was named to the All-Pro team. During the season he caught 98
passes for 1,493 yards and 23 touchdowns, breaking Jerry Rice's
single-season mark of 22. He had one catch in Saturday night's
31-20 playoff win over Jacksonville, which resorted to double and
triple coverage on him.

Washington alleged Moss refused to allow her to seek medical

"She has her own house. She has her own car," Moss said. "So
how am I going to deny someone medical attention when you live by
yourself and have your own vehicle?"

He said the allegation will not distract him in Sunday's game
against the San Diego Chargers.

"Last Friday, this man wanted to come out with it," Moss said,
apparently referring to someone siding with Washington, "just to
try to distract the team and distract me.

"There was much more said, a lot of verbal, a lot of cuss
words, a lot of things that I should be doing. You better do this
or else. ... Well, I thought it was bad because now you're
threatening me, so I brought it to coach."

He said Patriots coach Bill Belichick told him to focus on

"They're false allegations, something I've been battling for
like the last couple of days of threats going public if I didn't
pay X amount of dollars," Moss said. "So before people rush quick
to judgment, I think you need to find out the facts about, really,
what's going on.

"This young lady by no means is hurt. I didn't hurt her."

Two teammates voiced support for Moss.

"I don't know the situation," linebacker Tedy Bruschi said.
"He's a teammate of mine so by me saying he's a teammate of mine,
it's almost me saying he's a family member."

"I don't think any of that situation is going to be on the
field for us on Sunday so it doesn't bother me," running back
Kevin Faulk said. "He's our teammate, He's like a brother."

Moss said athletes are targets for false allegations.

"It's very unfair to athletes if a person makes a false claim.
You know, there's nothing that we can do," Moss said. "The only
thing that we can do is either pay up or sit back and listen to
what's being said or what's being written.

"For someone to make a false claim about me, I'm kind of
furious. It kind of hurts me deep inside for someone to do
something like that because, you know, I've always said time and
time again, I'm going to stand up for what's right. If I'm right,
I'm right. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong."

Moss faced misdemeanor charges after a 1996 fight with the
mother of his daughter, but they were dropped after both agreed to

He was asked if he thought people would believe his current

"I think the best thing is to check my resume, ask around,"
Moss said. "I've never hit a woman. I do not hit women."

ESPN.com investigative reporter Mike Fish and The Associated Press contributed to this story.