The woman at the center of Duke’s investigation into an alleged 1999 sexual assault told friends that Corey Maggette is the basketball player who raped her, according to a report by the New York Times.
The lawyer for Meredith Watson said in a statement Friday that Watson had been raped by a former Duke basketball player but did not identify the player. The Times reported Monday that both a childhood friend of Watson’s and Facebook messages Watson exchanged with another friend, identified the player in question as Maggette, who went on to play 14 years in the NBA after attending Duke for one year.
Maggette denied the allegations in a statement to the Times.
“It has only been through media accounts and a statement from Meredith Watson’s lawyer that I first learned or heard of anything about these sexual assault allegations,” he said. “I have never sexually assaulted anyone in my life and I completely and categorically deny any such charge.”
Watson also has said that Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax sexually assaulted her on Duke’s campus in Durham, North Carolina, when they were both students in 2000. A Facebook message from Watson acquired by the Times said she did not report the alleged Fairfax assault after the university discouraged her from pursuing the earlier case against Maggette.
Duke said Saturday it was opening an investigation into the sexual assault allegation made against a former basketball player.
“Duke first learned of the allegations involving a student-athlete last night when they were reported by the media,” the statement said. “Coach [Mike] Krzyzewski confirms that he had no knowledge of the alleged conduct from 1999. The university is looking into the matter and will have no further comment at this time.”
Maggette played for the Blue Devils during the 1998-99 season, which culminated in a loss to UConn in the national championship game.
Maggette retired from the NBA in 2013 and now works as an analyst for Fox Sports, which told the Times it was also “looking into the matter.”