Former NBA center Dwight Howard is in the midst of a lawsuit accusing him of sexual assault against a man he met on Instagram.
The lawsuit includes claims against Howard of assault and battery directed at the accuser, Stephen Harper.
According to court documents obtained by Radar Online, Howard has admitted to meeting Harper on social media in 2021 before seeing him in person later the same year. However, the former NBA star alleges that nothing nonconsensual occurred when they met, and he would like the lawsuit to be dismissed.
Howard has said that he and Harper exchanged sexually explicit messages before they met in person.
“The ex-NBA star said Harper came over to his home on July 19, 2021,” wrote Ryan Naumann. “Howard admitted they went to his bedroom, removed their clothing, and ‘engaged in consensual kissing.’
“In his lawsuit, Harper claimed Howard surprised him by bringing out a man dressed as a woman.
“Harper said the man called himself ‘Kitty.’
“In his complaint, Harper said Howard wanted a threesome with Kitty, but he resisted. He said Kitty started performing oral sex on Howard.
“Harper said he was uncomfortable and did not want to participate. He said Howard tried to touch his thigh and stoked his ‘penis through his underwear.’
“Harper said he asked Howard to stop. Instead of listening, he claimed Howard told him he was ‘going to do whatever’ and he was ‘going to like it.'”
Radar Online revealed some more of the allegations featured in the lawsuit.
“Defendant stood up (towering over Mr. Harper), grabbed Mr. Harper by the thighs, forcibly removed Mr. Harper’s underwear, held Mr. Harper down, and performed nonconsensual oral sex on Mr. Harper,” the suit alleges. “Mr. Harper was in fear of imminent bodily harm when he was pinned down and forced to remain in place while Defendant continued to sexually assault him.”
Howard allegedly stopped once he realized Harper wasn’t enjoying it.
“Harper said Howard stopped performing the sexual act on him when he realized Harper wasn’t enjoying it,” wrote Naumann.
“The suit said Howard then ordered Harper to his bed. Harper said Kitty was having sex with Howard.
“Harper said Howard forced him to perform oral sex on him. He said he tried to call an Uber after the incident, but Howard made Kitty take him home.”
Radar Online offered more information about the suit.
“The lawsuit accused Howard of assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and false imprisonment,” wrote Naumann.
“In his response, Howard denied that Harper was surprised by Kitty. He said ‘Plaintiff was aware that would also be arriving at the home prior to Plaintiff even arriving at Defendant’s home.’
“Howard admitted that Kitty was a man dressed as a woman.
“In addition, Howard admitted that he touched Kitty and Harper but said it was all consensual activity.
“‘The three agreed to touch one another and to engage in consensual sexual activity,’ Howard’s lawyer wrote.
“Howard denied he sexually assaulted Harper or forced him to receive or perform any sexual acts. He has demanded the entire lawsuit be thrown out of court.”
Howard, who last played in the NBA in the 2021-22 season with the Los Angeles Lakers, is clearly being accused of some alarming conduct, and the lawsuit will be worth monitoring as it continues to unfold.
The 37-year-old has continued his basketball career outside of the NBA and most recently played for a team in Taiwan. He met with the Golden State Warriors last month, but the Warriors decided to go in a different direction. Howard has reportedly expressed to interested teams that he’s in shape and ready to contribute to a franchise in any way.
His basketball career certainly appears to be merely a secondary story right now given the allegations against him.
While there appears to be some common ground between Howard and Harper in their claims, there are key details that will need to be ironed out in court for there to be total clarity.
The situation is certainly troubling, and one can only hope that a resolution is reached in the near future.