Mario Williams has denied allegations that he sent suicidal texts to his ex-fiance, Erin Marzouki.
The Buffalo Bills defensive end has been involved in a legal dispute (h/t CBS Sports) with Marzouki over a $785,000 diamond engagement ring that he wants returned.
In November, he reportedly mentioned to Marzouki that he was having "suicidal thoughts" (via USA Today):
[Attorney Tony Buzbee] released an exchange of texts between the two he said he copied off his client's phone. It's a conversation dated as occurring between 4:51 and 8:26 p.m. CT on Nov. 11 and includes a break between 5:03-8:02 p.m.
During the exchange, Williams wrote: "No money in the world should leave me with suicidal thoughts."
Williams also wrote that he took three hydrocodones that morning -- that was the day of Buffalo's game at New England. And he planned to take two more on the plane home.
Williams has now addressed the allegations and said that the medication was in fact prescribed, according to Tim Graham of the Buffalo News:
Tim Graham @ByTimGraham
Mario Williams says pain killers were prescribed and dispensed by Bills, has not had suicidal thoughts.5/20/2013, 5:15:43 PM
During the season, the Bills star played with a torn ligament in his wrist and waited until his team's bye week to have surgery. He did not miss a game, but he was clearly playing hurt for a good portion of the season.
He also released a long message on Twitter that featured his general thoughts on the situation (via @bbwolf94):
The true character of someone is always revealed in times that we don't typically agree with. In these times it's how you respond and portray yourself to others that shows the ethics, character and true morals of a person. What's shown speaks for itself!
I'm still here and always will be. I'm too strong for ridicule and the childish extremes those will do to try and taint a persons name when in reality you make me stronger, hungrier and more determined.
To God be the glory I'm still here I'm still so strong, You should know better than to think efforts like these affect me or anything for that matter. IM IN THE BUSINESS OF LIVING A LIFE OF JOY AND HAPPINESS! BUSINESS IS BOOMING!!
New head coach Doug Marrone stated that he is still looking into the situation and is taking it seriously (via Graham):
Tim Graham @ByTimGraham
Bills coach Doug Marrone won't comment on specifics of Mario Williams story but says team is taking it seriously.5/20/2013, 4:41:36 PM
He also intends to keep the issue as private as possible to look out for the player's best interest (via the Buffalo Bills on Twitter):
Buffalo Bills @buffalobills
Marrone on Mario Williams: "The organization will not comment on personal issues ... My conversations with him are private"5/20/2013, 4:31:13 PM
Williams is entering the second season of a six-year, $100 million contract that he signed last offseason after six seasons with the Houston Texans. The deal includes $50 million in guaranteed money and is the richest contract a defensive player has ever signed.
Unfortunately, the Bills struggled in his first season and only managed a 6-10 record.
Still, the defender had a solid individual year, totaling 10.5 sacks with 46 tackles despite his early health struggles. The team hopes that he can continue to be a leader and an impact player on the defensive side of the ball for the next few seasons.