The internet is a dangerous place for athletes considering the events of the past year. It began with Manti Te’o, then of Notre Dame, who was catfished into believing he had a girlfriend despite the fact that the woman did not exist. As if that was not enough, it was recently revealed by his lawyer that Chris ‘Birdman’ Andersen was impersonated by a Canadian woman online.
The woman sought dates and other relationships while pretending to be the NBA star, even going as far as to threaten several individuals.
Her actions allegedly were the reason police searched his Denver area home with a warrant last year related to child pornography. He was living in Colorado because he was a member of the Denver Nuggets at the time.
Although her name has not yet been released, the Canadian woman pretending to be Birdman on the internet had more victims than just the NBA star. She has been charged in Canada with several crimes, but has not yet been charged in Colorado.
The developments have cleared Chris Andersen of any wrongdoing in the case. Lisa Pinto, a spokeswoman for the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office said that “based on the information that we have been able to obtain and analyze, we are not pursuing charges against Chris Andersen.” The office is reviewing a 4,000 page document before pressing charges against the woman.
Andersen has a history of being involved with children’s charities, something that was put on hold after his name was tarnished through this internet scandal. The clearing of his name should help the Birdman get back to being involved with his community.
Mark Bryant, the lawyer and agent for Chris Andersen said that “Chris was a victim” and that “I can’t tell you how much Chris agonized about the label placed on him and some of the public’s perception that resulted from these acts,” Bryant said. “Chris among all things is a member of our community and has a long, documented history of reaching out to children. He’s done this through assisting with children’s camps, local orphanages, literally (dressing up as) Santa Claus in our community.”
Chris ‘Birdman’ Andersen signed a one year extension with the Miami Heat after playing an integral role in the team’s second straight NBA title run. He will not have to worry about false accusations derailing his reputation and season heading into the 2014 season where he will look to help the Heat make it three straight years as champion.
Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express
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