The woman who prosecutors determined falsely accused three Duke lacrosse players of rape maintains in a new memoir that she was attacked, a claim that provoked an angry lawsuit threat from one player's family.
Crystal Mangum, who appeared publicly Thursday for the first time since making the allegations more than two years ago, says in her book being made available online today that she is not "looking forward to opening old wounds" but that she had to defend herself.
"Even as I try to move on with my life, I still find it necessary to take one more stand and fight," she writes in an excerpt of the book, The Last Dance for Grace: The Crystal Mangum Story.
"I want to assert, without equivocation, that I was assaulted. Make of that what you will. You will decide what that means to you because the state of North Carolina saw fit not to look at all that happened the night I became infamous."
Mangum's remarks drew an immediate rebuke from attorneys, and the family of one exonerated player said they were considering a lawsuit. Jim Cooney, who represented player Reade Seligmann in the criminal case, said attorneys would review the contents of the book.
"For 2-1/2 years, this woman has attempted to destroy Reade's life," Cooney said. "We aim to put a stop to it."
Mangum told police that she was attacked at a March 2006 lacrosse team party where she was hired to perform as a stripper. After a disastrous local prosecution that eventually led to downfall of the district attorney, the state attorney general's office concluded that there was no credible evidence an attack occurred.