Former NFL player Chris Geile, now a single dad who does charity work, described how his life has been impacted by erroneous reports about an alleged murder-for-hire plot.
Accused is West Hollywood salon operator Dawn DaLuise: Investigators say they uncovered evidence that she wanted to hire someone to murder a business rival that she mistakenly thought was stalking her.
Someone had been posting pornographic Photoshopped pictures of her on Craigslist and posting similar flyers in West Hollywood. It turns out her harasser was someone else, according to detectives: An acquaintance of hers, Edward Feinstein, now faces a stalking charge.
Media reports soon buzzed about who the hit-man might be.
Geile says he had met DaLuise in Big Bear two months ago.
"We were just basically acquaintances that had been chatting," Geile told Eyewitness News. "So she wasn't like a good friend or anything like that."
Geile got a call for detectives asking for a statement.
"I thought he was joking," said Geile. "I thought someone was actually pulling a joke on me."
Geile says there was one worry DaLuise shared him.
"She was going on and on about certain things as far as what was happening, as far as stalking," said Geile. "But as far as doing anything about it, no, she just came at me from a point of 'I don't know what to do.'"
Geile says despite media reports that portray him as a hit-man, DaLuise never asked him to do anything.
Investigators have searched the computers and phones of both DaLuise and Feinstein. Detectives were not interested in Geile's computer.
Investigators confirmed to Eyewitness News that while Geile had contact with DaLuise, he was not involved in any wrongdoing.
"He certainly never agreed to hurt anyone or kill anyone," said Geile's attorney, Mike Scafiddi. "Those are complete false statements."
Geile says the reports have hurt him, his charity work and his 18-year-old son.
"My son, all this negative attention, having to defend his father when he shouldn't have to do that," said Geile. "You look up to your parents. The mental anguish I've suffered is far more than any type of football injury I've ever had. And the pain I've gone through just with my son, with everything."
It's unclear if Geile will have to testify in DaLuise's criminal trial. Scafiddi says there may be a separate civil case that he may file for defamation charges against some media outlets.