Ray McDonald said it was important to him to tell Chicago Bears owner George McCaskey "exactly what happened," regarding his arrest last August on suspicion of felony domestic violence and an accusation later last year of sexual assault.
Speaking publicly for the first time since the Bears signed him in March, the former San Francisco defensive lineman said his explanation was good enough for his new team.
"I'm a Bear now, so that should say it all," he said.
McDonald said his trouble last year -- both the first instance, which did not result in charges filed, and the second incident, for which San Jose police have yet to charge him -- should not result in questions about his character.
"I don't think it's right. I don't think it's fair," said McDonald, who added he is "extremely confident" he won't be charged. "You can look on TV and see all this negative stuff said about somebody and people can put out stuff that's not very credible and they can assassinate someone's character by doing that, but when you actually get a chance to meet someone and hear their side of the story, then you get to see it for what it really is."
McDonald, who was released by the 49ers in December and singed to a $1.05 million deal in March with no guaranteed money, did, however, say that he understands he will be under a microscope for as long as he remains in Chicago.
"Oh yeah, absolutely," he said. "I had two incidents as to where I feel like I didn't do anything wrong but still, it was in the national spotlight for some time. I'm just trying to move forward. I'm here now and trying to help this team win football games."
To that end, McDonald said his "fresh start" will include one thing, in particular.
"I learned a lot from my previous situations to keep my circle tight," he said. "You can't trust everybody because everybody doesn't have your best interests at heart. I learned that and I'm just here now to play ball ..."