Ovie Mughelli of the Atlanta Falcons hired an attorney to cease-and-desist websites that linked to an interview MissJia.com had with a man who claimed to have had an intense sexual relationship with the fullback over many years.
This whole messy incident first began when the blog first published an anonymous report from a man claiming to be the spurned former lover of an anonymous Falcons player. The next day, Mughelli was revealed to be the Falcons player, then Francois Sloan, a 36-year-old hair stylist from Jersey City, NJ revealed himself as the ex-lover in a video interview on MissJia.com.
Mughelli's attorney, Phaedra Parks, told me in a phone interview that the accusations were "false and defamatory" and that they're still sending out letters to websites and will "take appropriate legal action" against the ones who don't comply. Here's the letter sent to mediaoutrage.com:
And according to Outsports' outside counsel in Atlanta, Cynthia Counts, this will be a tough one to win in court:
"Ms. Parks fails to acknowledge that Mr. Mughelli is a public figure who would be required to show actual malice. In fact, as a public figure, Mr. Mughelli would have to prove not only that the statement is false, but also that the publisher either knew its statements were false or had a subjective awareness of the probable falsity of the statements."
I asked Parks if Mughelli even knew who Sloan was, but she declined to comment and referred back to her original statement. Still, a bigger, pressing ignorant question — if this relationship did happen, does it mean that Mughelli is a full-blown homosexual?
Let's ask our in-house gay person, Choire Sicha:
"Sometimes it happens in this world that a straight person, or a gay guy, just happened to fall for someone of the wrong gender for a period of time. It's unusual but it happens. People are like, weird. Sometimes gay dudes have serious romantic and sexual relationships with women—because they want to, and they're into it!"
Okay, so, 2! There's a whole bunch of people who fall somewhere on the bisexual spectrum. Who feel most comfortable being straight, for obvious reasons, but from time to time have one of these relationships. And if you ask any fag, such as myself, there's almost always the guy who slept over that one night in high school and started begging you to have sex with him. And personally I'm still very sorry I didn't have sex with him, but he was my best girlfriend's boyfriend at the time, and I thought it'd be rude.
So to your question: could he be straight, even if he did have this relationship? Yeah, sure! I guess the way to think of it is: where you stick it doesn't make you what you are. Like, you can put your junk pretty much anywhere you want, and still identify however you like. (A cursory review of Craigslist will totally confirm this, and you can ask any dude who's ever gone over to some guy's house and finds he is clearly married because there is women's clothing and stuff all over.)
People are sort of way more interesting in the specific than in the category. Like, why shouldn't people do whoever they want, and also be whoever they want? (Keep this in mind if Johnny Weir ever ends up on the town with a girlfriend.)
But apart from all that? This guy might totally dig chicks and marriage and kids and driving a Suburban and grilling things, or whatever straight people like. Maybe he's totally into the straight people lifestyle, up to and including vaginas.
There you have it. So why the knee-jerk litigiousness then? Would Ovie — who is not married — proceed the same why had this person been a woman?