Former Detroit Lions offensive lineman Rodney Austin, who was convicted Thursday of assaulting his ex-girlfriend and a child under 12, denies the woman's allegations that he threw her down while she was holding their child.
"I never touched her. Never hit her. Never pushed her," Austin told ESPN by phone Friday with his attorney present. "I would never do anything like that. I'm not that type of person. Then a lot of the little details she tried to paint to make it seem like I attacked her, which [were] completely bogus."
Austin's ex-girlfriend's allegations were contained in a magistrate's report filed April 16. Austin was convicted on the assault charges as well as misdemeanor larceny and interfering with emergency communication, and on Thursday was sentenced in a North Carolina courtroom to one year of supervised probation and the completion of a certified intervention program for batterers.
The charges will be dismissed when Austin completes the terms of his punishment.
The Lions released Austin on April 21, shortly after his arrest and on the second day of the team's offseason workout period. His account of what happened April 5 in the apartment he shared with the woman and their child differs from what she wrote in the magistrate's report.
In the report, Austin's ex-girlfriend wrote, "Austin assaulted me and assaulted me with my child in my arms. [Austin] also smashed my phone because I recorded the incident. I was thrown into the living room and then pushed down with child causing me to fall. [Austin] snatched the phone while I tried to call police and took it outside and smashed it to pieces."
In his interview with ESPN, Austin said he did take the cell phone and destroy it, but that it was a phone Austin provided for her. Austin said he destroyed the phone because he had become tired of her threatening to send voice recordings of the couple arguing to the NFL and to the Detroit Lions, including coach Jim Caldwell.
"I had grown tired of her saying I'm going to use this and destroy you and this, that and the third," Austin said. "You've got to understand. This is a phone that I provided for her. So when people start, it's not like I just was, I don't know, man.
"This is something that has happened over and over and over. It gets old and it gets tired and I was sick of her using the things that I provide for her to try and hurt me."
Austin said there was nothing on the phone he was concerned about the Lions or the NFL seeing and that it contained audio recordings of the two arguing. Austin's attorney, Mark Jetton, said the woman testified to this in court Tuesday.
Austin and Jetton said Austin had been trying to work through the legal system -- including using a family attorney in Jetton's firm -- since January to try and end the relationship. At the time of the incident on April 5, Austin said the two were no longer dating and that she was the one who ended the relationship.
Some of this account conflicts with the statement the ex-girlfriend gave to the magistrate. In that statement, she wrote "I broke up with [Austin] months before and did not give the answer he wanted when [he] asked to re-enter the relationship. Also [illegible] with separate schedules and sharing a car."