Fired NFL Network analyst Heath Evans defends himself over sexual harassment accusation

Heath Evans, a former NFL player and recently fired NFL Network analyst, released a statement Thursday on Twitter defending himself against the sexual harassment allegations made against him.

Heath Evans says he was ‘falsely accused’

Evans, 39, was one of several former NFL player-turned-NFL Network analysts named in a sexual harassment suit from Jami Cantor in December 2017. According to the complaint, Evans “sent nude pictures of himself on at least two occasions,” constantly propositioned Plaintiff to have sex with him,” and “made several sexually inappropriate comments to Plaintiff, such as, ‘you’re making me horny,’ and ‘needed to get in you deep and hard.'”

Evans, however, states that the claims that led to his eventual firing — which came on July 27 — are untrue. Evans believes he could have cleared his name, but NFL Network wanted to handle the claims:

“Because the allegations made against me are simply not true and because I can prove it, I immediately was prepared to clear my name. But, the Network strongly urged me not to. They asked me to let them handle the allegations in a confidential manner and essentially trust them with my reputation. I decided to honor their request and reluctantly agreed to remain silent.”

Heath Evans and Jami Cantor ‘exchanged mutual flirtations’

While Evans maintains that the accusations against him are unfounded, he did acknowledge he had previous contact with Cantor that was sexual in nature. Evans also says he and NFL Network knew of the allegations before they were made public in December.

“I immediately told the network that approximately two years ago, my accuser and I had exchanged mutual flirtations that included her sending me and me sending her pictures of a sexual nature. I regret having engaged in the picture exchange. Nothing ever came of the mutual flirtations and we remained friends during and after her employment ended at the Network. In fact, she had texted me just 30 days prior (posted) to me learning that that I was included in the allegations. To say I was surprised is an understatement. I provided the Network with these texts, turned over my current and old cell phone and earnestly participated in their discovery process. After providing the NFL Network with the evidence, the Network kept me on the air and seemingly went to bat for me.”

Once the reports went public, however, Evans claims NFL Network “immediately started threatening to fire me with cause if I couldn’t sign their silencing agreement.” If he signed, Evans says, NFL Network offered to pay out his contract and allow Evans to handle the language of his resignation letter. Evans refused, though, and was fired.

Heath Evans through the years
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Heath Evans through the years
MIAMI - 2005: Heath Evans of the Miami Dolphins poses for his 2005 NFL headshot at photo day in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH - AUGUST 20: Fullback Heath Evans #44 of the Miami Dolphins watches the action from the sideline during a preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on August 20, 2005 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers defeated the Dolphins 17-3. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
MIAMI - NOVEMBER 13: Fullback Heath Evans #44 of the New England Patriots runs in for the two point conversion against the Miami Dolphins in the fourth quarter on November 13, 2005 at Miami Dolphins Stadium in Miami, Florida. The Patriots defeated the Dolphins 23-16. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - 2006: Heath Evans of the New England Patriots poses for his 2006 NFL headshot at photo day in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - 2008: Heath Evans of the New England Patriots poses for his 2008 NFL headshot at photo day in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Getty Images)
2009 September 13: New Orleans Saints Heath Evans (44) runs with the ball during a 45-27 win by the New Orleans Saints over the Detroit Lions at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Derick Hingle/Icon SMI/Corbis via Getty Images)
METAIRIE, LA - CIRCA 2010: In this handout image provided by the NFL, Heath Evans of the New Orleans Saints poses for his 2010 NFL headshot circa 2010 in Metairie, Louisiana. (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO - SEPTEMBER 20: Running back Heath Evans #44 of the New Orleans Saints heads up field after catching a pass against the San Francisco 49ers during an NFL football game September 20, 2010 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California. The Saints won the game 25-22. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 17: Fullback Heath Evans #44 of the New Orleans Saints looks on during warm-ups before a NFL game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on October 17, 2010 in Tampa, Florida. The Saints defeated the Buccaneers 31-6. (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 25: Heath Evans #44 of the New Orleans Saints warms up before a game against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on November 25, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. The Saints defeated the Cowboys 30-27. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 29: New Orleans Saints fullback Heath Evans attends the Heath Evans Foundation Inaugural Rendevous with the Saints at Harrah's Theater at Harrah's Casino on November 29, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Erika Goldring/WireImage)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 03: Professional football player Heath Evans attends ESPN The Magazine's 'NEXT' Event on February 3, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for ESPN)
CENTURY CITY, CA - MAY 31: Former NFL player Heath Evans attends the Cedars-Sinai Sports Spectacular at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on May 31, 2015 in Century City, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
CULVER CITY, CA - SEPTEMBER 09: NFL analyst Heath Evans speaks during the NFL Media Event, the day before Kickoff to the 2015 Season on September 9, 2015 in Culver City, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Evans posted pictures of the pre-allegation text messages

Evans maintained that he has “no animosity for [his] accuser.”

“While I certainly wish she hadn’t falsely included me in the series of allegations she made, I understand better than most that people who have been mistreated and hurt, often hurt other people. Having run a non-profit that specialized in caring for victims of sexual abuse, I have first-hand knowledge of the damage mistreatment can cause.”

Evans then posted pictures of the messages he exchanged with Cantor in September, 2017. Cantor asks for fitness advice post-cancer treatment and ends her message with, “Hope you & the girls r [sic] doing great! Look forward to hearing from you hearing from u [sic] when u [sic] get a chance.”

A second sexual harassment lawsuit was filed against several NFL Network employees in late July.

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