A federal judge dismissed part of Jameis Winston's counterclaim against the woman who accused him of sexual assault on Tuesday and threw out another part of his suit, calling his side's opening statement "a remarkable and improper introduction" to the case.
U.S. District Judge Anne C. Conway dismissed Winston's claim of tortious interference - that the rape accusation brought by Zephyrhills' Erica Kinsman damaged his business relationships with NFL teams or endorsements. The judge, however, rejected Kinsman's motion to dismiss Winston's defamation claim.
The procedural move also included some harsh words by Conway about a 17-page opening statement in the countersuit Winston filed in May. Winston's statement restated his arguments and accused Kinsman of a "vile scheme."
"Frankly, it reads like a closing argument," Conway wrote. "It was obviously penned more for the consumption of the court of public opinion than for this Court and the other participants in this case. The Court cannot recall ever seeing such a remarkable and improper introduction to an answer. Structurally and legally, it is not a part of Mr. Winston's answer and it has no place in his pleading."
The contentious legal battle between Kinsman and the Bucs' rookie quarterback has been ongoing for months. Kinsman sued Winston in April, alleging that he raped her when they were both Florida State University students in December 2012. Winston then filed a countersuit, accusing Kinsman of making false, defamatory statements.
A jury trial is scheduled for May 1, 2017 in Orlando.