The lawyer representing Nashville center Mike Ribeiro — who’s currently being sued by a former nanny — said his client will “vigorously fight” the lawsuit, which is seeking more than $1 million in damages.
“In consideration of the people involved, especially the Ribeiro family, the National Hockey League and the Nashville Predators, I don’t plan to discuss the facts surrounding these allegations in public,” Brian Lauten said in a statement, per the Tennessean. “I can say that the Ribeiro’s plan to vigorously fight this lawsuit.
“At the same time, Mike will maintain his focus on doing all he can to help Nashville win its first-ever Stanley Cup.”
The lawsuit, first brought to light on Wednesday by TMZ Sports, includes claims of assault by Ribeiro on the plaintiff, resulting in unspecified injuries. The plaintiff reportedly worked as a nanny for Ribeiro and his family while he played for Dallas in 2012 (Ribeiro’s wife was accused of verbal attacks in the lawsuit, per TMZ.)
More, from the AP:
In the lawsuit obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, the plaintiff alleges Ribeiro caused “bodily injury” and asks for more than $1 million in damages along with other relief.
The lawsuit was filed the lawsuit July 24 in Collin County District Court in Texas.
UPDATE: Additional information from AP…
The lawsuit contains no specific details except alleging Ribeiro caused “body injury” when he acted “intentionally, knowingly and recklessly.” Her attorney Larry Friedman told The Associated Press on Thursday that his client was sexually assaulted by Ribeiro soon after she had graduated from high school, though she did not immediately go to authorities because she was “terrified.”
“My client was and is a young girl, and no young girl should be subjected to that kind of behaviour, the kind of conduct by an adult that she’s complaining about,” Friedman said.
Ribeiro addressed the situation on Thursday, but wouldn’t comment on the situation, forwarding all inquiries to Lauten.
“It’s not new news for me,” Ribeiro said. “For a lot of people it is, but it’s been for a while now. So it’s not a concern for me to try to get focused. I didn’t have a bad game the last game because of it.
“I’m really trying to get focused for tonight and helping the team get out of this slump. It’s a big game for us and that’s where my focus is.”
The Predators issued the following statement, per the Tennessean:
“We have been made aware of a complaint against Mike Ribeiro, dating back to his playing time while he was in Dallas.
“Mike has indicated that the charge is without merit and is prepared to vigorously defend himself. We will allow the legal process to move forward without further comment.”
Ribeiro is in his first year with Nashville, having signed last summer after Arizona bought him out of his contract due to “behavioral issues.” In a recent Sports Illustrated piece, the 35-year-old admitted to using drugs and alcohol during his time with the Coyotes.