UK footballer rape update

posted 04 October 2003

More Google fodder... I'm a willful sod, aren't I? That post containing the alleged names again:

Thought you may be interested to know this.

Those Premiership players in the gang-rape story are Newcastle: 
Bramble, Dyer, Bellamy, Ameobi, Bernard, Ambrose and Jenas. The other 
player, with whom she consented, is Carlton Cole (Chelsea).

Interestingly, Bernard has been previously accused of rape (along with four "unnamed others") and cleared because of "insufficient evidence". So in his case, he's already been publically accused of rape -- so is it still "damaging his reputation" to say it again?

Looks like Google's found me... I'm the second result for "premiership rapists" (oh, the joy...). Things will probably get interesting from this point. Meanwhile, a few people have e-mailed to scold me for posting this information, saying it will ruin these players careers, even if it's untrue. And of course, a few accuse me of libel.

li·bel

  1. A false publication, as in writing, print, signs, or pictures, that damages a person's reputation.
  2. The act of presenting such material to the public.

Fuck all of that. The person who has ruined their careers is either themselves (if they're guilty) or the girl (if innocent). I am just a member of the public, reporting what I've heard by word of mouth, just like the people I heard it from, who heard it from friends and so on until someone along the line was hearing it either from the witness, the police, or someone who works at the hotel. I'm not "publishing" this information -- I'm not broadcasting it, or presenting it as part of a "respected" publication, to which standards of accuracy and reliability apply. I'm just talking. It could be bullshit; I'm not making any claims. And I'm not forcing this content on anybody: to find my page, you have to specifically request it. And it seems, in the US at least, the law is on my side: webloggers cannot be held liable for libel.

Meanwhile, the lockdown continues, and has spread to TV, with all sorts of extra measures being taken to prevent the names accidentally being broadcast (by chants from the stands, for instance). Of course, since officially nobody is supposed to know what clubs are involved (there were six premiership teams playing in London that weekend, apparently, more than I'd heard initially), they can't say where they're putting these extra measures into place. Aston Villa has been the first to break ranks and categorically deny that any of its players were involved; if the other clubs follow suit Chelsea is going to be screwed, but it probably won't matter since Chelsea has been named as the club involved by the Mirror.

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