Ezekiel Elliott’s lawyers and the NFLPA reportedly plan to appeal Elliott’s six-game suspension by questioning the credibility of the woman who accused him of domestic violence.
Elliott was accused of five acts of domestic violence over a six-day period in July of 2016. He was never arrested or charged in the case and has already submitted his appeal for his suspension from the NFL for violating the league’s code of conduct.
According to a report from Yahoo’s Charles Robinson, the NFL investigators’ 160-page report into the domestic violence accusations includes a chain of text messages between Tiffany Thompson, Elliott’s accuser, and a friend threatening to leverage money from Elliott with sex tapes.
According to Robinson, the texts did not disprove any domestic violence, and the NFL’s report cites evidence, including bruising on Thompson, that they believed indicated Elliott had committed acts of violence.
The text exchange is one example Elliott’s lawyers and the NFLPA plan on using to question Thompson’s credibility.
Here is part of the exchange, via Yahoo:
Thompson: What if I sold mine and Ezekiel’s sex videos
Friend: We’d all be millionaires
Friend: We could black mail him w that
Thompson: I want to bro
Friend: Let’s do it
Friend: Id be like look give me 10k or I’ll just sell our sex videos for the same amount flat
Thompson: 10k B—- I want 20k
Thompson: Go big or go home
Additionally, according to a report from Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Forth Worth Star-Telegram, Elliott’s lawyers and the NFLPA plan to question Thompson’s credibility by pointing to threats Thompson allegedly made to “ruin” Elliott’s career.
NFL investigators also have a text exchange showing that Thompson had encouraged a friend to lie to police about an alleged domestic assault on July 22.
The NFL released a statement on Wednesday criticizing the strategy of Elliott’s lawyers and the NFLPA to discredit Thompson.
New NFL statement pic.twitter.com/KJ64RDHVB2
— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) August 16, 2017
In the NFL’s eyes, none of the exchanges with Thompson proved Elliott did not committ acts of violence against Thompson. According to Hill, the NFL investigators’ report said Elliott committed three violent acts on July 17, 19, and 21, against Thompson, citing photo and digital evidence.
After the NFL announced Elliott’s suspension, a letter from the league also pointed to Elliott’s off-field behavior. The league said said that video showing Elliott pulling down a woman’s top at a St. Patrick’s Day Parade in March was “inappropriate and disturbing, and reflected a lack of respect for women.”
None of the text exchanges can prove that Elliott did not committ acts of violence against Thompson, but his lawyers believe it can question the credibility of the accuser. Elliott’s appeal hearing is scheduled for August 29.