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Lord Only Knows

Lord of the Dance countersues woman over rape claim. Michael Flatley calls his accuser's $35 million suit extortion

For the woman who filed a $35 million lawsuit against former ''Riverdance'' star Michael Flatley this week, accusing him of raping her last fall in his Las Vegas hotel suite, the jig is up. So says Flatley, who filed a $100 million countersuit on Thursday, accusing the woman of extortion over what he says was a consensual one-night stand.

The Chicago woman's lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Illinois, alleges that the 44-year-old hoofer, whose ''Lord of the Dance'' show is a Vegas staple, sexually assaulted her in his suite at the city's Venetian Resort Hotel and Casino on Oct. 19. She says she reported the alleged assault to the police, though the investigation was dropped when she ultimately declined to press charges, a Las Vegas Police spokesman told the Associated Press.

Flatley's countersuit, filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges that the woman complained to the police only to establish a paper trail that she could use later to extort money from him, Reuters reports. The suit said that Flatley's secretary in the next room heard no cries from the woman, and that the next morning, she kissed him in the secretary's presence and had breakfast with Flatley.

''We filed the lawsuit because what this lady did was outrageous," Flatley's lawyer, Bert Fields, told AP. ''It will do tremendous damage to Mr. Flatley. Even when he wins the case, some people will still believe the accusations.''

Originally posted Mar 07, 2003
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