TAMPA -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback
Jameis Winston has settled a sexual suit involving a former Florida
State University classmate, but the details of the compromise are
likely to forever remain cloaked in secrecy.
The agreement was reached Dec. 14,
according to www.dailybusinessreview.com.
The article also said most sports
-law experts agree both sides have reason for wanting to keep matters
private from this point forward, and the agreement they reached
closing the book on proceedings scheduled to commence in early 2017
likely involves even more incentives for doing so.
Typically, settlements of this kind
involve a cash payment made to the plaintiff in exchange for
confidentiality, nondisparagement and liquidated damages if the
accuser breaks the agreement.
Florida-based sports attorney Darren Heitner told the Florida
Record he can’t imagine the situation playing out any
differently in this case.
“Someone of his stature doesn’t want to have to worry about a
case like that and spending money to make it go away makes sense,”
he said. “It’s a business decision on the part of both parties.
In a civil-litigation all she could have received was a monetary
award and I’m sure she did here.”
Winston and accuser Erica Kinsman are now both expected to file a
joint motion absolving the other and asking for a formal dismissal
over the next several weeks.
Beyond that, there could be other strings attached, such as
stipulations requiring a defendant of Winston’s stature to make
donations to anti-sexual-violence organizations.
Kinsman first filed suit back in April 2015, alleging sexual
battery, assault, false imprisonment and emotional distress stemming
from a December 2012 incident.
More details revealed she claimed she was assaulted by Winston
after encountering him at a Tallahassee bar on a night when she was
intoxicated and unable to defend herself against his aggressive
Winston has long countered that the sex was consensual.
Prosecutors later determined there was not enough evidence to
criminally charge him.
Kinsman moved to file suit just days before Winston, the 2013
Heisman Trophy winner as college football's best player, was tabbed
as the top overall pick in the NFL Draft by Tampa Bay.
“The settlement refocuses attention on his many talents,”
Heitner said. “It closes one chapter and starts a new one where the
writing is focused on what he is able to do on the field.”
More than likely, Kinsman also agreed to never publicly discuss
the amount of the settlement, which experts speculate could have come
in the form of a lump sum payment or spread out over a number of
The agreement could also require Winston, who will make $16
million in his initial contract with the Bucs, to now contribute to
several anti-sexual violence organizations, the
The parties likely also released each other from any future
“The settlement in no way determines his guilt,” Heitner said.
“He had the choice to continue to litigate, but I’m not surprised
they reached an agreement. That’s the way most of these kinds of
cases end, and in the case of the vast majority of them, terms are