Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has opened up about sexual assault and rape allegations…kinda. At a conference for Christian men, the quarterback has blamed alcohol and an adult film addiction for his indiscretions.
The allegations date from a 2009 lawsuit in which a woman accused Roethlisberger of raping her in a Lake Tahoe hotel in 2008. He eventually settled that lawsuit for an undisclosed sum. A woman accused Roethlisberger of rape again in 2010, alleging that he exposed himself and assaulted her in a Georgia nightclub. Though the victim declined to press charges, Roethlisberger lost an endorsement deal with Big Ben’s Beef Jerky. The NFL also suspended him for six games during the 2010 season.
Now Roethlisberger has named adult entertainment as the real villain in his life, forcing him to commit various “sins.” It’s worth noting that he never actually disclosed what those specific sins were.
While speaking at the Christian men’s conference “ManUp,” which “encourages and teaches men to be godly leaders for their families, and raises awareness of the devastating impact of fatherlessness among youth today,” Roethlisberger spoke out about his demons.
“It’s not always easy,” Roethlisberger admitted. “People don’t realize all the time that us athletes, we’re human. We sin like everybody else. I am no different. We make mistakes. We get addicted to things. We sin. We’re human. I think sometimes we get put on this pedestal where we can’t make mistakes. I’ve fallen as short as anybody. I’ve been addicted to alcohol. I’ve been addicted to [adult films], which makes me then not the best husband, not the best father, not the best Christian I can be.”
Medical experts have found claims of adult entertainment addition dubious at best. Even then, overcoming addiction hardly makes up for what Roethlisberger has been accused of.