The statement includes various e-mails and online chats that McNulty was said to have had with "Ben Millikan" aka "Ben the Soldier" the online persona that Roethlisberger's lawyers believe was McNulty's fictious online soldier boyfriend. I'm an attorney with a background in both civil and criminal law, so I hope to sort out what some of this means for you.
Most of the e-mails reproduced in the statement appear to come from a Harrah's e-mail address or are Yahoo! instant message chats printed by the person responsible for the "Ben the Soldier" online communications.
E-Mails After the Alleged Assault. Cornwell contends that lighthearted e-mails sent shortly after the alleged sexual assault disprove McNulty's allegations in her complaint that she was upset and crying in her truck. The e-mails look pretty innocuous, complete with baby talk.
E-Mails Talking About Roethlisberger. Cornwell released a number of communications that suggest that McNulty wasn't afraid of Roethlisberger and talked about him in a positive way less than 24 hours after the alleged assault:
"This golf tournament has been really fun. I am really excited because we are all going to see Journey tonight and that will be soooooo much fun. Speaking of which I need to head over to a dinner with your lookalike [referring to Ben Roethlisberger, as noted in the email July 9th] and a few others before heading out."Online Chat About Cause of Her Hospitalization. Cornwell contends that McNulty admits in an online chat that it was "Ben Milliken" that caused her to be hospitalized because he broke her heart, and not because of the alleged assault (transcribed):
Andrea McNulty: I had some time to think about itI don't think that these released online communications will cause the accuser's attorney drop the lawsuit but are certainly meant to sway public opinion. These selected excerpts make things a bit more complicated for McNulty's counsel, but I'm guessing he will try to explain it away with the broad position as stated in page 13 of her complaint (pdf link) that she was "reluctant to tell her parents or anyone what had really happened." Perhaps this would include not revealing her true feelings to her online boyfriend as well.
Ben Milliken: it sounds like it, with 3 months off
AM: and six more to go
BM: how nice
AM: I am sorry I scared you
AM: I scared everyone
BM:I can imagine. I just didn't know what to do. Everything I said made things worse.
AM: it did
BM: I am just glad you are okay
AM: you broke my heart
BM: I am sorry
AM: I forgive you
BM: that means a lot
BM: thank you
AM: you bet
AM: I know you were thinking about it alot
AM: as much as you would allow
BM: oh I was. More so than you can imagine
AM: the doctor said that if one could die of a broken heart at my young age, it would be me ....hahhaha
BM: ohhhhhhhhhhh I don't even know what to say. I am sorry
AM. I forgive you.
AM: It's okay.
BM: hey..you're livin' life now though...no longer a corporate machine eh?
AM: I am still on the payroll but taking some time off since I never did in six years
These communications may be some evidence that the assault didn't take place, but under the law McNulty is entitled to refute that evidence in a court. A judge can't dismiss a case based on one side's view of the evidence. Factual disputes are decided by trials not by legal motions. It's hard to see a scenario where McNulty's attorney drops the claim without a confidential settlement, and with public releases of this information, Roethlisberger can maintain that an assault never occurred without ever having to testify in court or say anything other than his original denial where he called the allegations "false and vicious."
A Different Defendant's Motion to Dismiss. On the same day these communications were released, one of the defendants and former friend of McNulty's, Stacy Dingman filed a "Motion to Dismiss, or in the Alternative a Motion for a More Definitive Statement." (pdf of motion here via Reno Gazette-Journal). Various current and former employees of Harrah's were named in McNulty's complaint accused of a broad range of civil offenses, including defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy, trespass, civil conspiracy and punitive damages.
Such a motion is pretty typical in civil cases, and there's some very good points made in this one.
Dingman's attorney claims that, even if everything that McNulty says about Dingman is true, none of those allegations are things that she could be sued for under Nevada law. The attorney also contends that the facts in the complaint are not specific enough to give Dingman proper notice of what she is alleged to have done. In Nevada, like many states, someone filing a complaint doesn't have to give too many details of their allegations, but do need to give enough details to give the sued person notice of what they did.
Dingman's name appears very little in the original complaint, so the attorney is either trying to get the judge to dismiss the case against her just based on the agreed facts or require McNulty's attorney to reveal more facts against her.
You can pretty much expect more of these sorts of filings in the days to come given that there are nine named defendants in the case. I know a lot of Steelers fans have questions about this civil matter -- if you have any, please leave them in the comments, and I'll try to get to them.