Photo Credit: Orlin Wagner/AP

An attorney for Josh Jackson is trying to downplay claims that the Kansas forward’s legal team tried to pay off women’s basketball player McKenzie Calvert, in order to keep her from pressing vandalism charges after Jackson damaged her car in an argument.

Last week, the Kansas City Star reported that the women’s basketball program gave Calvert a short suspension for her role—throwing a drink—in the altercation, while the men’s basketball program was not forthcoming about any punishment Jackson may have received for allegedly causing thousands of dollars of damage to her car. Additional reporting from the past few days tangles the story even more.

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On Thursday, the paper published details from Calvert’s father about his interaction with one of Jackson’s lawyers. According to Tim Calvert, an attorney called him in early February to encourage his daughter not to seek charges against Jackson, noting that “money is no object, within reason.”

“They wanted to pay to make it all go away,” Calvert told the Star. “But it wouldn’t have gone away for my daughter. It would have been great for Josh, but not for McKenzie. ... This was never about money for me; it was about how my daughter was treated.”

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The lawyer, Hatem Chahine, also requested that the family not pursue an investigation with the university and agree the damages to the car were of a misdemeanor amount, Calvert said. (The total damage was more than $2,900, well over the misdemeanor threshold of $1,000, but witnesses at the scene could not say whether Jackson was solely responsible for all of the damage.) Some of the stipulations were included in an affidavit, which was seen by the Star. Calvert ultimately decided not to sign any of the material presented to him by Chahine or to accept any of the stipulations.

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Last night, one of the other attorneys on Jackson’s legal team disputed Calvert’s story and tried to downplay the whole thing: “Mr. Calvert specifically requested that we discuss restitution with his attorney and we complied with his request,” Scott Boatman told the Star.

Chahine is the same lawyer who represented Kansas basketball player Carlton Bragg, Jr. in a misdemeanor battery case last year and again in a drug case over the past few months.

Jackson will be arraigned in district court next month for property damage. He served a one-game suspension this week for an unrelated matter, a traffic citation in a minor hit-and-run accident on campus.

[Kansas City Star]