Background: Research demonstrates that a significant percentage of allegations of sexual assault are false. To learn more, see my recent column U. of Maryland Correct to Deny Clothesline Project Protesters a Forum to Publicly Name Alleged Rapists (Baltimore Sun, 10/15/07).
Also, see my blog posts College Student Creates Campuswide Crime Alert over Double False Rape Accusation, False Rape Accuser Almost Ruins 8 Men’s Lives, but Police Say Real Danger Is Her Lies ‘May Deter Women Who’ve Been Attacked from Coming Forward’, and Outrageous MSNBC Video of False Sexual Abuse Allegation Against Police Officer.
It is rare that false accusers are held accountable for their actions. The Michael Flatley case is an exception. Con artist Tyna Marie Robertson (pictured), along with her apparent accomplice/co-conspirator/Dean Mauro, just got whacked by the Flatley, who has just accepted an $11 million settlement.
I don’t know if Flatley will ever receive the money, but he certainly made his point, and we should all applaud him. Faced with an extortion attempt, he didn’t give and inch and instead fought back–and hard.Ã‚Â The story is below.
Flatley gets $11m settlement over sexual assault claims
Henry McDonald, Ireland editor
Sunday December 9, 2007
Michael Flatley has accepted an $11m (Ã¢â€šÂ¬7.5m) settlement in a lawsuit against a woman who he says falsely accused him of sexual assault and attempted to extort money from him.
The former star of Riverdance had lodged a $100m action over claims made by Tyna Marie Robertson. In California on Friday, Flatley agreed to a settlement after the state’s supreme court heard that the accusations were false and part of a scheme to extort millions of dollars from him. He was given permission by the court last year to sue over the allegations.
Yesterday Flatley, 49, said: ‘Ms Robertson tried to extort money from me by spreading these lies and the court sent a message that it will not tolerate these types of schemes.’
Robertson, a real estate agent, alleged the dancer had raped her in a Las Vegas hotel in October 2002. Her attorney, Dean Mauro, threatened to file a sexual assault lawsuit unless Flatley agreed to a ‘seven figure’ settlement, according to court papers.
Flatley refused to pay the money, thought to be around $30m, insisting the sex was consensual, and Robertson filed a $33m civil sexual assault lawsuit in Illinois, which was eventually dismissed.
Flatley countered by saying he had been a victim of defamation, extortion and fraud. He said that his secretary sleeping in the next room heard no protests from Robertson, and that the next morning she kissed him in front of the secretary and had a ‘relaxed and happy’ breakfast with him, according to the court papers.
The dancer gave his first live recital last month since his battle with a mysterious immune virus that left him fighting for his life last December. The condition had seen him admitted to hospital, and doctors thought he might never dance again. Flatley helped launch the popular Irish dancing spectacle Riverdance after performing at the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin.
Four years later he left as a multi-millionaire to take his shows around the world. It is estimated his career has earned him a Ã¢â€šÂ¬521m fortune. Though based mainly in the US, where he was born to Irish immigrants, he owns a mansion and 150-acre estate in Co Cork.
His global franchise of shows such as Lord of the Dance and Celtic Tiger have been seen by more than 50 million people.