From His Mind: ‘It’s There in the Morning and It Tucks Me in at …

From His Mind: ‘It’s There in the Morning and It Tucks Me in at Night’
Gets Upset When People Say His Reputation Is Ruined, Told Mom: ‘My
Reputation Is Mine. No One Else Can Ruin It For Me’

NEW YORK, Jan. 7 LAWFUEL — Reade Seligmann, one of the three Duke
lacrosse players charged with sexually assaulting a stripper, says the
ongoing case is never far from his mind. “It’s there in the morning and it
tucks me in at night,” he tells Senior Writer Susannah Meadows in
Newsweek’s January 15 issue (on newsstands Monday, January 8). “Every time you’re happy, you’ll remember why you weren’t happy.” Just before the new year, Seligmann sat with Newsweek for an exclusive four-hour interview, the first time any of the players has spoken in depth about the hellish months since the party in March where the assault allegedly occurred.

After the arrest, Seligmann tells Meadows, he channeled his competitive
streak by cheering his twin 18-year-old brothers’ high-school football
team. Duke allowed him to finish the semester from home, and he made the
athletic- conference honor roll amid the turmoil. Determined not to waste
the year, he volunteered at a soup kitchen and coached football at his old
junior high, which had faith in his innocence from the start. Seligmann
also describes what it’s like to get stares. Sometimes he’ll be on the
treadmill at the gym and his face will come across the row of TV screens in
front of him. He can feel everyone turn his way. Even homeless men at the
soup kitchen recognize him. “You’re a football player, aren’t you?” one guy
said to him. “Good luck, man.” Seligmann says he doesn’t mind being noticed
but gets upset when people say his reputation is ruined. He told his mom,
“You know something, my reputation is mine. No one else can ruin it for
me.” Seligmann also says he hasn’t decided if he’ll go back to Duke. He’s
certainly nostalgic for the blissfully mundane concerns of his old life
there: “I miss more than anything staying up and worrying about a miserable midterm.”

The case, says Seligmann, sometimes so dominates household
conversations that his brother Cameron begs his family to talk about
something else. Yet one day in school, he raised his hand and asked his
teacher, “I need to know why bad things happen to good people.” The three
accused players talk regularly, and their mothers are in close touch, too.
Everyone in the Seligmann family has tried not to become bitter, and Reade
promised his dad he wouldn’t let the case ruin his life. “I always believed
that the truth will trump everything,” he says. “I have to believe that.”
He’d already planned to go to law school, but now, he says, it’s gotten
personal: he wants to become a criminal defense lawyer.

Seligmann still gets emotional thinking about what his parents have
gone through, reports Meadows. Remembering the first phone call he made to
his mother, Kathy, after learning that the accuser had picked him from a
lineup, he says, “It was like the life was sucked out of her.” Before he
hung up, he made her promise not to watch his arrest on TV. The next day,
at home, she went to look for her 14-year-old, Ben. She found him in his
room, sobbing in front of the TV. “Why are they doing this to him, Mom?” he
asked. Kathy looked over and Reade was on the screen, handcuffed and being
led into jail.

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