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Rose drops portion of defamation suit vs. Dowd

From ESPN - October 12, 2017

An attorney for Pete Rose in his defamation lawsuit against John Dowd confirmed to ESPN's Outside the Lines on Wednesday that they are dropping a contention that Dowd's 2015 allegation of statutory rape resulted in two companies declining to extend endorsement deals with Rose.

Rose's suit asserted he lost more than $300,000 after the footwear company Skechers and the now-defunct drug company Ducere Pharma stopped using him two years ago. According to a Tuesday court filing obtained by Outside the Lines, executives from both companies denied any connection between Dowd's accusation and their decisions on Rose.

Dowd, who led Major League Baseball's 1989 investigation of Rose for gambling, said in a Pennsylvania radio interview two years ago that Michael Bertolini, Rose's former associate, "told us that not only did he run bets, but he ran young girls for him down in spring training, ages 12 to 14." Dowd added, "Is not that lovely? So that's statutory rape every time you do that."

Rose and Bertolini issued denials in 2015, and then Rose initiated the suit against Dowd last year in U.S. District Court in Eastern Pennsylvania, seeking unspecified damages.

Joseph Johnson, a lawyer for Rose, told OTL that discontinuing the claim regarding the two companies "does not change the case at all." He said a jury is entitled to look at the damage to Rose's reputation caused by Dowd's allegation, which the suit labeled "false and malicious."

David Tobin, an attorney for Dowd, declined comment.

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