Wednesday, September 22, 2010
7 News Investigations: Out of Bounds?
He's one of the country's most famous football players, and he's from South Florida: rich, famous and popular. One woman trusted him so much, she says she loaned him money, but she says Ocho Cinco wouldn't repay it. His reason? Here is 7's Patrick Fraser with the story we call "Out of Bounds."
WSVN -- He is all over the place: on TV as the all-pro NFL receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Maybe you saw him this year on "Dancing with the Stars."
If you turn on VH1, you can catch him showing off his sometimes charming, sometimes witty, always outrageous personality.
Or if you are from South Florida, you may just know him as plain old Chad.
Crystal Williams: "Chad Johnson, which you guys call 'Ochocinco.'"
Chad changed his last name from Johnson to Ochocinco to try to match the number 85 on his Bengals jersey. But Crystal says the Chad she knew never changed his warm, friendly personality.
Crystal Williams: "When I first met him, he was the perfect gentleman. Very respectable."
Then in April, while in California practicing for "Dancing with the Stars," Crystal says Chad called and asked her to help him out.
Crystal Williams: "He asked me to borrow, like, $1500. I said, 'I don't have $1500 to let you borrow.' He said, 'What do you have?' I said, 'OK, at the time, I could spare $500.'"
Crystal says she and Chad texted back and forth: 120 texts, to be exact, that she still has in her phone. Chad appeared to ask her to take the money to a guy named Chris who'd be driving a Bentley at a Miami-Dade strip club called King of Diamonds.
Text message from Ochocinco: "Meet up with a friend of mine he will be n a black bently n pay a bill for me its not that much n i will give u more monday ok."
Now if you are watching, you are thinking one thing.
Patrick Fraser: "Why would Chad Ochocinco need $500 when he got millions?"
Crystal Williams: "Exactly. That's the same thing I said. 'Well I am doing the taping for 'Dancing with the Stars' and right now, I can't get to any money.'"
Crystal says Chad then told her, if you take the money right now, I will double what I owe you.
Crystal Williams: "'You know, it's not like I don't have the money. I got millions.' I'm like, 'You right.'"
Crystal says she drove over to the strip club, and the man in the Bentley was waiting, just as she was told he would be, and she texted.
Text message from Crystal: "I just gave it to him, and he appeared to be upset."
From Chad's phone, a text came back.
Text message: "Thank u. I have to get him more today."
Text message: "He said u were really cheap."
Crystal then texted, "Goodnight."
But after that night, the long list of texts shows how things turned sour, beginning when Chad returned from California and Crystal claims he told her to come to his house to get the money. She says Chad was not there. Crystal was not happy.
Text message from Crystal: "I gotta pick up my baby from the bus stop and I have other things I need to do. Why r u playing with me."
And the text back?
Text message from Ochocinco: "U kno I'm going to give u your money (expletive) why u tripping."
Crystal Williams: "I was actually surprised, because I never seen him act like that towards anybody, and he's never acted like that towards me."
A few days later, Crystal once again asked Chad for the money. When he didn't pay, she texted.
Text message from Crystal: "I thought you were better than this."
She says Chad said...
Crystal Williams: "'Oh, you a groupie.' And then he just flipped the script."
From his phone came this text...
Text message from Ochocinco: "U act like its killing u. If so don't text me anymore."
Text message from Crystal: "OK...will C.U.N. court."
The response from Chad's phone?
Text message from Ochocinco: "Prove it."
Crystal Williams: "I think he thought he was going to get away with it, 'cause he's Chad Ochocinco, but no. No."
Patrick Fraser: "Are these 120 texts actually from Chad Ochocinco? Crystal says yes, that they were mixed in with phone calls to Chad as well. I then called the number to confirm. The man we all know as Chad Ochocinco answered. I talked to him, but before I get to that, I had to answer the legal question: if someone texts you asking for money, are they legally required to pay it back?"
Howard Finkelstein: "A text is no different than a contract. Whoever sent the message and borrowed the money has to pay it back. It's that simple."
Patrick Fraser: "When I talked to Chad Ochocinco, he laughed when I told him why I was calling. He said, 'Do I look like a guy that needs to borrow $500?' He then asked what I wanted him to do. When I said, 'Repay Crystal,' he said, 'I don't know who she is.' I then spoke to one of his representatives. Robert Bailey contacted Chad and wrote back, 'Chad and I spoke with her, and he had no clue who she was. I made the decision to give her $500 just so we can get her out of our hair.'"
Crystal Williams: "'You know, we don't know who it is, but we are still going to give her the money.' That's bull."
As Bailey promised, Crystal got her check from a representative, but she is disappointed in the football player.
Crystal Williams: "He tied my money up for six months for him supposing to be a friend, and it turns out he is not even a friend."
He is a superstar, but Crystal will tell you, he wasn't super to one former friend.
Patrick Fraser: "In case you are wondering if Ochocinco can afford to pay the $500, his NFL contract is for six years and pays him $35 million to play football."