The woman who accused Dallas Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott of domestic violence admitted to NFL investigators having a text exchange in which she discussed leveraging sex videos featuring her and Elliott for money from the player, according to documents obtained by Yahoo Sports.
The exchange is contained in the 160-page report prepared by NFL investigators into allegations that Elliott committed multiple acts of violence against ex-girlfriend Tiffany Thompson. Within that report, investigators noted a September 2016 text message exchange between Thompson and a friend, in which Thompson raised the idea of selling sex videos of herself and Elliott. During the conversation, Thompson’s friend suggested, “we could black mail him w[ith] that,” to which Thompson responded, “I want to bro.” The NFL’s report also stated that Thompson admitted registering an email address titled “ezekielelliott sex vids” in August 2016.
The texts and email registration don’t disprove the domestic violence allegations Thompson has made against Elliott, nor do they address the central issue of whether violence occurred. Furthermore, the league indicated physical and circumstantial evidence – including bruises appearing on Thompson’s body during a week she and Elliott were sharing a room – was enough to conclude that Elliott committed domestic violence. But with Thompson being cited as the NFL’s only firsthand witness to the events she is alleging, a source close to Elliott said his lawyers and the NFLPA have seized upon the exchange to question aspects of motive and credibility in an appeal filed on Tuesday.
Ezekiel Elliott is appealing his six-game suspension. An appeals hearing is scheduled for Aug. 29. (Getty Images)
Ultimately, the NFL came to its findings and suspended Elliott for six games despite having Thompson’s text exchange on record. The source said Elliott’s legal advisers believe the NFL didn’t give adequate weight to underlying issues of credibility and motive for Thompson, who accused Elliott of multiple instances of domestic violence in July 2016.
The NFL investigator’s 160-page report detailed the following about the text exchange:
“The League’s forensic experts also recovered evidence from Ms. Thompson’s phone that she had registered an email address titled, “ezekielelliott sex vids” during the month of August, 2016. In addition, a text message with her friend [name withheld by Yahoo] was recovered that showed them talking about their need to make more money and Ms. Thompson raised the idea of selling the sex tapes she had of herself and Mr. Elliott. Her friend [name withheld] said they should blackmail Mr. Elliott with them, they’d be “millionaires”. Ms. Thompson replied that she’d like to but was scared. When Ms. Thompson was asked about this by the League’s investigators, she stated that she did have sex tapes
of her and Mr. Elliott on her phone and she did open the email account but she denied doing so to blackmail Mr. Elliott.”
Exhibits accompanying the NFL’s report also included the exact exchange between Thompson and her friend, which took place on Sept. 21, 2016. The exchange was obtained by the NFL via a forensic sweep of Thompson’s phone, which was provided to investigators. The exact exchange was noted as Exhibit 74 in the NFL’s appendix accompanying the 160-page report. It is as follows:
[Thompson]: What if I sold mine and Ezekiel’s sex videos
[Friend]: We’d all be millionaires
[Friend]: We could black mail him w that
[Thompson]: I want to bro
[Friend]: Let’s do it
[Friend]: Id be like look give me 10k or I’ll just sell our sex videos for the same amount flat
[Friend]: Me and my friends tryna go on vacation and get boob jobs
(the report notes a pair of blank texts)
[Thompson]: 10k Bitch I want 20k
[Thompson]: Go big or go home
[Friend]: That’s fine too
[Friend]: Like what
Yahoo Sports left voice and text messages for Thompson specifically asking about the exchange, but neither was returned. The friend whom Thompson was texting in the exchange told Yahoo Sports that she had indeed spoken to NFL investigators about it.
“I have literally no comment on that,” the friend said. “I already spoke to somebody about that. It was an investigator. It was like, someone working for the NFL. It was like years ago, so I don’t even remember what I said.”
Asked what she told NFL investigators about the conversation, the friend said, “This was literally like a year ago. I have no idea.”
Asked if she remembered having a text conversation with Thompson about blackmailing Elliott with sex tapes, the woman ended the phone call.
Yahoo Sports was also able to obtain a portion of the NFL Players Association’s response to the NFL regarding Elliott’s suspension. Within the response, the NFLPA listed the text exchange among a collection of items questioning Thompson’s credibility.
To further underscore that point, the union included Thompson’s text exchange under a rebuttal subhead reading: “Ms. Thompson’s Highly Inappropriate Conduct – Including Contemplated Extortion – Punctuates Her Lack Of Credibility.”
A source familiar with the appeal indicated to Yahoo Sports that the text exchange will be one of several pieces of communication or witness accounts that the NFLPA and Elliott’s lawyers will focus on to shape Thompson’s credibility. Others have also surfaced as well in documents that have either been released by the Columbus Police Department or leaked to the media. Among them:
• Thompson having allegedly lied to the Columbus Police department during its investigation into Elliott and allegedly attempting to induce a witness to also fabricate an account of domestic violence.
• Thompson allegedly making threats toward Elliott about “ruining” his career, as recently reported by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
• Thompson allegedly calling Elliott in a harassing manner, as noted in a report by the NFL Network.
While none of this appears to be evidence that can conclusively clear Elliott of domestic violence, the NFLPA and his lawyers believe it speaks to the credibility aspect that may ultimately determine the success of his appeal.
Elliott’s appeal hearing is scheduled for Aug. 29.