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Two footballers branded rapists by a judge tried to buy Denise's silence for £115k
Denise Clair told how ex-Scotland striker David Goodwillie and former Dundee United teammate David Robertson promised her up to £115,000 if she dropped her landmark case against them.
And when she refused to accept their money, Goodwillie’s legal team made a failed attempt to have her legal aid cut so she could not sue the pair.
But Ms Clair said she rejected the approaches with the last one coming just weeks before her unprecedented battle at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.
She was awarded £100,000 in damages when judge Lord Armstrong ruled that Goodwillie and Robertson had had sex with her while she was too drunk to consent.
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Ex-Scotland striker David Goodwillie and former Dundee United teammate David Robertson
The three offers made to settle would all have involved me keeping quiet. It was their way of trying to gag me
The mother-of-one, 30, raised her own civil case when criminal charges over the 2011 attack at an empty house in Armadale, West Lothian, were dropped.
It is understood the Crown Office has again ruled out trying to prosecute the shamed footballers despite last week’s historic judgement.
Ms Clair, a former prison officer, yesterday said: “They tried to buy me off – not the action of men who still claim they did nothing wrong.
“Mercifully, they failed. The three offers made to settle would all have involved me keeping quiet. It was their way of trying to gag me.”
Denise became the victim of twisted internet trolling
Plymouth Argyle striker Goodwillie, 27, and Robertson, 30, now with Cowdenbeath FC, have always protested their innocence and insisted she consented to sex.
But the civil action heard that the men took advantage of vulnerable Ms Clair when they told a pub bouncer they were taking her home to her mother.
She maintained she was raped at the flat after taking a taxi from a club with both men.
Lord Armstrong condemned the evidence of both Goodwillie and Robertson in his ruling.
Ms Clair, who waived her right to anonymity, said she received the first offer in 2015.
Goodwillie is said to be considering an appeal
Then in July last year Goodwillie’s legal team offered her £50,000 including her legal expenses if she dropped the case.
Then less than a month before it began in October they made a third. She said she rejected them all.
She added: “Lord Armstrong awarded me £100,000 – less than the players wanted to buy me off with – and most of it will be swallowed up by legal costs.
“I don’t mind though. All that matters is that I am vindicated.
“I wanted the truth to emerge and no amount of money would have bought my silence or made up for the suffering I, and my family, endured.”
Adam Johnson arrives at court
Wed, February 10, 2016
Adam Johnson arrives at Bradford Crown Court ahead of going on trial, having been charged with three counts of sexual activity with a child and one of grooming
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Sunderland winger Adam Johnson has pleaded guilty to one count of sexual activity with a child and one count of grooming
Ms Clair’s only regret remains Goodwillie and Robertson did not face criminal charges.
“I have been let down by the justice system”, she said.
“They should be behind bars. The police pursued the case but the Crown Office decided not to proceed.”
Goodwillie, who is said to be considering an appeal, and Robertson could be reached for comment.