John Clune, who also represented an FSU student who accused Winston of sexual assault, tweeted Sunday, “We have asked the NFL this morning to investigate Mr. Darby and are demanding that he immediately turn his phone over to the NFL so the GPS history can be forensically examined.”
Darby, who played with Winston at Florida State, released a statement Sunday saying he was in an Uber ride with Winston on March 13, 2016, and vowed that his college teammate did nothing inappropriate with the driver.
“I felt the need to come forward and clarify some inaccurate accounts of the evening of March 13, 2016 when myself, a friend and Jameis Winston took an Uber ride in Arizona,” Darby said in his statement. “There were three of us in the car, not just one as has been reported. Myself and Jameis were in the backseat. I am confident that nothing inappropriate in nature happened in the car that evening and Jameis did not have any physical contact with the Uber driver. The accusations are just not true.”
Clune disputed that, tweeting, “To be clear, no one else was in the car besides Mr. Winston and if anyone is ‘confused,’ it isn’t the Uber driver. Mr. Winston’s friend from his FSU days is just making things worse by inserting himself into this.”
Clune, an attorney who specializes in sexual assault and Title IX cases, previously represented Erica Kinsman, an FSU student who alleged she was sexually assaulted by Winston in December 2012.
On Friday, the NFL confirmed it was investigating the allegation by the Uber driver. The league’s investigation was first reported Friday by BuzzFeed News, which viewed a letter it said Lisa Friel, the NFL’s special counsel for investigations, had sent to the Uber driver.
Winston has denied the allegations, saying in a statement Friday that the “accusation is false.”
The driver, who declined to give her name, told BuzzFeed News that she picked Winston up at around 2 a.m. on March 13, 2016, in Scottsdale, Arizona. She told BuzzFeed that Winston asked her to stop at a drive-thru restaurant during the ride, and while in line, the driver said Winston reached over and “grabbed” her crotch for three to five seconds, only removing his hand when she said something.
The driver told BuzzFeed News that Winston was the only passenger in the car and said that she reported the incident to Uber at the time.
Winston, in his statement Friday, said, “the driver was confused as to the number of passengers in the car and who was sitting next to her.” He was in Arizona for Kurt Warner’s annual Ultimate Football Experience event during the weekend that the incident allegedly occurred.
A Scottsdale Police Department spokesperson told ESPN’s Jenna Laine that the driver “did not call us or file a report with us.” The Phoenix Police Department also confirmed to Laine that it was not contacted about an incident involving Winston and an Uber driver.
Darby and former FSU defensive end Chris Casher said they were in Winston’s off-campus apartment the night he was accused of sexually assaulting Kinsman.
Darby and Casher provided authorities with affidavits indicating they saw Winston having consensual sex with the woman, but they later refused to testify at a student conduct code hearing regarding the allegations. Winston was never criminally charged by authorities in the incident, and he was cleared of violating FSU’s student conduct code by a retired Florida state Supreme Court justice.
FSU officials reached a $950,000 settlement with Kinsman in January 2016 after she sued the university in federal court, and she and Winston reached an undisclosed settlement in December 2016.