This past Thursday, authorities went into the home of Denver Nuggets center Chris ‘Birdman’ Andersen and seized a number of items. That alone was cause for concern, but it wasn't the worst part of the story. Rather, the worst part was that, between the fact that one of the items taken was his computer, and the troublesome news that the folks investigating Andersen generally covered child pornography, Internet luring and child predator cases – all signs pointed to this being one of those situations.
You know the ones.
However, according to Andersen’s attorney, Colin Bresee, that assumption may have been premature. In a statement -- that was eventually obtained by the Denver Post -- Bresee indicates that Andersen may actually just be the victim of an elaborate extortion attempt by a woman who had been representing herself as being of legal age.
Via the Post:
Documents reviewed by The Denver Post confirm that she repeatedly represented herself to be of legal age and that her family later demanded payment from Andersen.
"I want him to pay for everything on her Amazon wishlist and 5k for her bedding stuff and her victoria secret wishlist," wrote a person purporting to be the young woman's mother.
In 2010, Andersen began receiving letters and photos showing the young woman "scantily clad," Bresee said. In 2011, she flew to Colorado for a visit. She later became upset when Andersen no longer showed interest in her, according to the statement.
"In 2012, she then threatened to retaliate if he did not provide financial remuneration," Bresee wrote. "Professional athletes are routinely targeted by these types of individuals. The media has been speculating that he is a suspect, and not a victim, in a criminal investigation."
While it’s important to acknowledge that this is simply Andersen’s lawyer doing what lawyers do, defending his client, the excuse does make a certain amount of sense. And the fact that no arrests have been up to this point, even though authorities have seemingly been investigating this case for months, further speaks to it being more than just a cut-and-dry child porn case that many feared it would be when this story first broke.
The interesting thing now, presuming what Bresee is saying winds up being proven true, is what it actually means for Andersen. Minors representing themselves as fully grown adults and the ramifications of that for the folks on the wrong end of the misrepresention has always been a messy, complicated matter.
We’ll keep an eye on this situation as it develops.