NBA star Derrick Rose, friends cleared in rape lawsuit

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A jury cleared NBA star Derrick Rose and two of his friends in a lawsuit brought by a woman who claimed she was gang raped in 2013. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

A jury cleared NBA star Derrick Rose and two of his friends Wednesday in a lawsuit brought by a woman who accused them of gang raping her in 2013.

The woman had sued Rose and his friends for more than $21 million, saying she was incapacitated from drugs or alcohol to give consent.

Rose says he's thankful that the jury rejected the lawsuit.

He said in a statement to the Associated Press that it was important to prove he did not do what he was accused of, even though he had to share private details of his personal life.

"I am thankful that the jury understood and agreed with me," his statement said. "This experience and my sensitivity to it was deep. I am ready to put this behind me and focus on my family and career."

Neither side denied the three men had sex with the woman, but the issue was whether she consented or was too intoxicated to do so.

Lawyers for Rose and his friends say the woman initiated and willingly participated in sex. They say she is lying to cash in on Rose's wealth.

In closing arguments Tuesday, Rose's lawyer argued that the 30-year-old woman was suing for money and for revenge because the New York Knicks point guard ended their relationship.

The defense portrayed Rose and his childhood pals, Ryan Allen and Randall Hampton, who both work for him, as victims in the case and the lawyers mocked the woman's lies and demeanor on the witness stand.

"This woman has tried to trick people through much of her life, men especially," attorney Michael Monico said. "Who is she trying to trick in this courtroom, ladies and gentlemen? You. She doesn't have any evidence, but she can cry."

The woman's lawyer called the men "sexual deviants" and says they conspired to gang rape her after she was drunk and incapable of consenting to sex.

One juror said he did not find the woman's claims credible based on her attitude and the way she described incidents.

Her attorneys said they are considering whether or not to appeal the jury's decision.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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