Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Dyer: I Was Not Involved

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Dyer: I Was Not Involved

Article excerpt

Newcastle United star Kieron Dyer last night broke his silence to deny any involvement with the alleged rape of a 17-year-old girl in a London hotel.

After days of internet rumours about the allegations and the involvement of Premiership footballers, Dyer, 24, made his first public comment in a statement issued through his lawyers to "set the record straight and put an end to the massive speculation."

The midfielder, currently on duty with England in Turkey for their crucial Euro 2004 qualifier, said: "I had no involvement in this

matter let alone being `at the centre of it' as suggested in emails, websites and elsewhere."

He added his family had been hounded and "my reputation has been damaged in the most public way possible".

The teenager claims she willingly had sex with one man but was then gang-raped by others, including several Premiership footballers, at the Grosvenor House Hotel on London's Park Lane on September 27.

Until now, no footballer has commented on the matter but yesterday Dyer became the first to speak out, claiming the hotel room in question had been wrongly booked under his name.

Dyer, who was staying at the hotel after Newcastle's Friday match with Arsenal, said he was at a London nightclub until the early hours of Saturday when the attack is alleged to have happened.

"Until now I have felt trapped and it has been very frustrating that I have been unable to clarify publicly the facts which clearly exonerate me, whilst the police conduct their inquiries", he said.

In a detailed statement, Dyer said: "This whole matter has been very distressing for me."

The footballer added: "I recognise that the claims made by the woman involved are of the most serious nature, and warrant a thorough investigation.

"I do not wish to trivialise these serious allegations. …

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