“I Will Never Waive My Right To Sue Him”| Matt Araiza To Sue Lawyer Of Alleged Gang Rape Victim For Defamation

Former Buffalo Bills punter Matt Araiza is planning to sue attorney Dan Gilleon, the lawyer for the alleged victim who accused the punter of being part of a gang rape at a San Diego house party in October 2021. In an interview that aired last week on “HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,” Araiza spoke publicly about the incident for the first time.

“I just didn’t see how people could do this. To make a lie, like that, about someone’s life, knowing the implications of it. I was in shock. And seeing everyone in the world believe it and knowing that they just completely got misled,” Araiza told HBOs Andrea Kremer. “No chance to defend myself. No waiting for the police to back any of these statements. Not waiting for the trial for anything to be proven in court. There was a feeling that society was sure about this. They were 100 percent sure.”

A Defamation Countersuit

Araiza said during the interview that he would not settle the pending civil lawsuit that was brought against him by the alleged victim and that he would sue Gilleon for defamation.

“I’ve already hired an attorney for it, and things have already been drafted,” Araiza told Kremer. “I will never waive my right to sue him. That’s coming.”

Gilleon, who was also interviewed for the segment, said the civil suit will continue.

No criminal charges were filed by San Diego prosecutors after their investigation concluded, including talking to the alleged victim and multiple witnesses. Their evidence says Araiza was not present at the party when the alleged gang rape occurred.

But Gilleon clarifies his position on gang rape and Araiza admits to having sex with the alleged victim.

Pending Civil Suit Against Araiza Continues

“We are not saying that he was, and we are not saying that he wasn’t,” Gilleon said. “Let’s say he was not one of the men in there. That doesn’t absolve him of liability.

“Our allegation is, is he contributed heavily to the harm that she suffered that night. He had sex with my client. Following that, she ended up having sex with multiple guys and came out of there bloodied, in shock. Ended up at the hospital, ended up with the police, and ended up traumatized. So that’s what I mean by the gang rape. Gang rapes can occur for two days. They can occur over time. They can occur multiple places. So that’s the clarification.”

While there will be no criminal trial Araiza, is not out of the woods yet. In this pending civil trial, how well did he know the other men alleged to have raped the victim? Did he converse with them after he admittedly had sex with the victim? Did he ply the alleged victim with alcohol that night?

Araiza and his legal team might be getting hung up on the “gang rape” term. He may not have been present while others allegedly raped the victim. But if Gilleon can prove that his acts led to the next series of events, Araiza could be found liable.

“Stupid, I agree,” said Araiza referring to having sex with the victim, someone he’d only know for 15 minutes. “But not deserving of being labeled a gang rapist by every media outlet in the country. Not deserving of losing your job.”

Deserve is a tricky word. Maybe he’s completely innocent, maybe he has some culpability. When cases like this go public and there is a level of notoriety you are tried in the court of public opinion. That’s how it goes for public figures.

There are ways in which rules don’t apply to public figures and ways in which they apply more harshly. These are the breaks.

In the meantime, Araiza is trying to get back into the NFL, but it’s proving challenging. He may have to go the practice squad route or play in the XFL for a stint. The NFL and its franchises are very image conscious and don’t want the backlash from external organizations and media.

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