Laremy Tunsil, a star offensive tackle from Ole Miss, was expected to be a top 5 pick in the NFL Draft on Thursday. He was in attendance at the NFL draft in Chicago when a video of him smoking a marijuana bong suddenly appeared on his Twitter account.
Tunsil quickly removed the tweet and deleted his entire Twitter account. But not before someone uploaded the video to YouTube, and the video links were shared on Twitter.com.
Minutes later, on Tunsil’s Instagram page, someone posted screenshots of text messages exchanged by Tunsil and an Ole Miss coach that appears to show the football player begging for money to pay his rent and his mother’s bills.
The caption under the screenshots read: “Coach freeze and the whole Ole Miss program are snakes. They cheat!”
As Tunsil’s social media drama unfolded in real time, he quickly became THE #1 story on NFL draft day. As a result, Tunsil’s once rosy draft prospects took a tumble.
The Miami Dolphins eventually selected him as the thirteenth overall pick — costing him over $12 million in salary.
After the draft, Tunsil and his agent claimed someone tried to sabotage him by hacking his social media accounts.
According to Deadspin.com, someone shopped that same video to media outlets days before the draft.
The #1 suspect seems to be Tunsil’s stepfather, Lindsey Miller, who filed a defamation of character lawsuit against the offensive lineman this week.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday afternoon at the Lafayette County Courthouse, alleges Tunsil attacked Miller last June and defamed his character, causing “intentional infliction of emotional distress.”
The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages to cover all costs of “past, present, and future bodily injury, pain & suffering, severe emotional distress, medical costs, damage to reputation, and/or other types of damages that he has incurred (and will likely continue to incur).”
Both Miller and Tunsil filed domestic violence charges against each other last year, according to the Clarion Ledger. The charges were mutually dropped in August.
In his lawsuit, Miller claims Tunsil attacked him when he advised him not to speak to 2 sports agents.
But Tunsil told Ole Miss Coach Hugh Freeze he was only defending his mother after Miller physically attacked her last June.
In his lawsuit Miller calls Tunsil’s version of the fight a “fabrication.”
“The malicious words of Defendant Tunsil were designed, in whole or in part, to discredit Mr. Miller’s allegations to law enforcement while bolstering Defendant Tunsil’s reputation in the eyes of the general public,” said Miller’s attorney in court documents obtained by the Ledger.
“Furthermore, Defendant Tunsil knew, or should have known, that Coach Hugh Freeze, in particular, would repeat his remarks to local, state, and/or national media given Defendant Tunsil’s critical role on the Ole Miss football team.”
The lawsuit asserts Tunsil’s statements to his head coach caused “irreparable damage to Mr. Miller’s reputation, the nature and scope of which will be determined at trial.”