By now, you’ve probably heard the incredible story of Brian Banks, the former University of Southern California football recruit who was convicted of rape while still in high school. Thus, instead of playing for then USC head coach Pete Carroll, Banks wound up spending the next five years of his life wearing a prison jump suit. Life didn’t get much better after his release, as Banks had to register as a sex offender, and wear a court-ordered ankle bracelet while on probation.
His accuser, Wanetta Gibson, was awarded $750,000 in a settlement with the Long Beach Unified School District, claiming an unsafe environment contributed to the incident. Gibson ultimately recanted her story, and Banks was exonerated, which left many people saying “so, uh, what happens to that $750,000?”. Well, we are happy to report that Ms. Gibson had her comeuppance over the weekend (or, as much comeuppance as the legal system allows), as a judge ordered her to repay the $750,000, plus interest, legal fees and $1 million in punitive damages — a total of $2.6 million.
Not helping her case was the part where, when talking to Banks on hidden camera, she said: “I will go through with helping you, but all that money they gave us. I mean, gave me, I don’t want to have to pay it back.” It’s also been reported (and we hope you’re sitting down for this) that she blew through the settlement money a long time ago, and has also been the recipient of public assistance for her children.
This ruling won’t restore Brian Banks’ lost decade, but he’s making the best of the situation. After participating in Seattle Seahawks mini camp last year — under coach Carroll — he’s trying out for an inside linebacker spot with the Atlanta Falcons.