The attorney for Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston says his client will cooperate with the school's Title IX investigation into allegations that he raped a fellow student in December 2012.
Attorney David Cornwell confirmed Winston's cooperation with the inquiry in a 13-page letter addressed to FSU general counsel Carolyn Egan. The letter, which was obtained Tuesday night by ESPN and TMZ.com, was sent on Tuesday.
In the letter, Cornwell accused Patricia Carroll, who represented the accuser at the time, of requesting a $7 million settlement from Winston to drop her claims. Cornwell wrote in the letter that Carroll's request was "immediately rejected."
John Clune, the woman's Colorado-based Title IX attorney, denied that Carroll ever requested the money, saying in a statement that it was Cornwell who contacted Carroll "to discuss paying off our client." Settlement discussions, according to Clune, were "immediately unproductive," and the accuser's attorneys decided to discontinue the talks.
"Although it is our understanding that settlement was discussed at that meeting, no authorized demands were made of Mr. Winston," Clune said in a statement.
In December 2013, after a three-week investigation, the Florida state attorney announced there was not enough evidence to file criminal charges against Winston. In April, the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights launched an investigation into the way Florida State handled the case. Clune previously told ESPN.com that FSU officials interviewed his client in early August.
In Cornwell's letter to FSU officials, he wrote that two FSU administrators interviewed Winston on Jan. 24. It's unclear how cooperative Winston was during the interview.
Jeanine Ward-Roof, FSU's former dean of students (who now works at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan), and assistant dean Rachel Bukanc conducted Winston's initial interview. According to Cornwell's letter, FSU officials requested a second interview with Winston, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, in a Sept. 5 letter.
It is believed that Winston's initial Title IX interview on Jan. 24 was the first time he had discussed the alleged incident with FSU officials. He previously declined to talk with Tallahassee police or investigators from the state attorney's office on the advice of his former attorney, Tim Jansen of Tallahassee.
"Mr. Winston will cooperate with the investigation," Cornwell wrote in his letter. "He looks forward to clearing his name. But, Mr. Winston will not walk into a honey trap. The Investigation must be a legitimate investigation."