Banks previously served a prison sentence after being falsely accused of rape.
As a high school football star at Long Beach Polytechnic High School in Long Beach, California, Brian Banks was a shoo-in for the NFL. However, in 2002, his classmate named Wanetta Gibson came forward and accused the teenager of dragging her into a stairwell and raping her. Banks maintained his innocence but was arrested and charged, and when he learned that he was facing a 41-year jail sentence if convicted, Banks took a plea deal. He was sentenced to five years in prison, five years probation, and he had to register as a sex offender. Gibson and her mother would later sue the school district and won a $1.5 million judgment.
Banks served his sentence and was released, but in 2011 his life changed. His accuser found him on Facebook and messaged him, asking if they could meet up. He agreed to the meeting but would only do so with his attorney present. It was during that conversation that Gibson admitted that she made up the entire rape story, but she wasn't going to tell prosecutors because she didn't want to return the money she won in her judgment. What she didn't know was that Banks was secretly recording their conversation and worked on his own to clear his name.
The football player had his record cleared as he was exonerated by the courts and later went on to sign with the Atlanta Falcons, but last year news surfaced that a woman named Lidija Jovanovic accused Banks of sexual assault. According to The Blast, Jovanovic, a maid, states that she was scheduled to clean Banks' home when he masturbated in front of her before offering to pay her for sex back in February 2018. She's suing him for $10 million.
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Banks admits that the two had sex, but he claims it was entirely consensual—and he has the tape to prove it. In court documents, he writes, “I usually explain to people why I have cameras in my home. In 2002, I was falsely accused of rape and kidnapping when I was in high school, after a consensual sexual encounter. After pleading no contest to a crime I did not commit and serving six years in prison, I was fully exonerated in May 2012 when my accuser recanted her fabricated claim against me. Thus, contrary to the defamatory allegations in the complaint filed in this proceeding, I am not a ‘former felon.'”
He continues, “After she was done cleaning, Ms. Jovanovic came to sit by me on the couch. I told Ms. Jovanovic that I had cameras in my apartment. In fact, I showed them to her. As a result, she was aware that she was being filmed during the entirety of our brief consensual sexual interaction. When she left later that day, she told me, ‘Enjoy your video.’ She also sent me a text message at a later date in which she again told me to enjoy the video.”
“Ms. Jovanovic insinuated that I should pay her for sexual intercourse but I declined and explained that I do not pay women for sex," Banks says. "I believe she may have been upset that I turned down her suggestion that I pay her for sex.” He paid her $90 for cleaning and says "she seemed disappointed, presumably because I did not pay her additional money for any sex acts.”
Jovanovic reportedly went to the Los Angeles Police Department with claims of sexual assault, but they reviewed the footage and refused to pursue charges. That's when she decided to sue, even though her attorneys have seen the video as well. Banks's attorney calls the lawsuit "frivolous." They'll meet once again in court next month.