Now that the people who care have had time to survey and digest the complaint against Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger, a clearer picture has emerged about the accuser and her allegations and it's not pretty. Here's an attempt to summarize:
The complainant is Andrea McNulty, a employee of the Harrah's Casino in Lake Tahoe, where Roethlisberger has been on more than one occasion for celebrity golf tournaments. (Now just put "allegedly" in front of every sentence you read from here on out.) In July 2008, she was working as a "concierge" on the penthouse floor and had several friendly interactions with the football player, whom she had been instructed to keep happy while he stayed in the hotel. (That's what a concierge does, after all.) She claims that one night he asked her to come to his room to look at his broken television and when she got there, she discovered there was nothing wrong with the TV.
She claims that, as she tried to leave the room, Roethlisberger blocked her path, and that he "grabbed [her] and started to kiss her."
She claims that she was "shocked and stunned that this previously friendly man, that appeared to be a gentleman in her previous contacts with him was suddenly preventing her from leaving, was assaulting and battering her."
McNulty admits that she didn't try to fight Roethlisberger, citing his size and strength. She claims that she "communicated her objection and lack of consent," and that he nevertheless began "fondling [her] through her dress and between her legs."
She claims that he pushed her onto the bed, and despite her alleged protests he "pulled her underpants off and proceeded to penetrate her."
If true, that's absolutely disgusting. But there's way more to the story. There are eight other defendants in the lawsuit, most of them current or former employees of the hotel who McNulty is accusing of defaming her; either by refusing to believe her story, spreading misinformation about her, or actively helping to cover up Roethlisberger's conduct after the fact. These charges would probably be in reference to this story, reported by TMZ, that McNulty received psychiatric care because of a separate incident with another married man.
McNulty's complaint does state that she received treatment as a result of her encounter with the quarterback, but one source says that is not the real reason. The story TMZ is telling is that she became involved with a married man, whose wife began emailing McNulty pretending to be a soldier stationed in Iraq. McNulty "fell in love" with the imaginary soldier and when the wife stopped the correspondence, she began telling people he had been killed in action. According to the source, that was the incident that led her to seek help.
So where does that leave us? It has become standard practice in cases like this to make the accuser look like a deranged slut, but that doesn't necessarily mean that she's all there. McNulty did not file a police report after the original incident, but that doesn't necessarily mean she's lying. For every rich celebrity athlete that someone might want to tear down, there are plenty of other people ready to do anything to keep him propped up. These things are always messy and the unfortunate "especially Andrea McNulty" quote from Ben's lawyer is just the tip of the iceberg.
Pro Football Talk is absolutely owning the story (ESPN is still silent) so stick with them for frequent updates.