Published February 26, 2009
LOS ANGELES – The woman who was with Morgan Freeman the night of a car crash that injured both of them insists she was never romantically linked to Freeman and is suing the actor for negligence.
Demaris Meyer and her lawyer, Gloria Allred, held a news conference Wednesday announcing that Meyer has filed a lawsuit against the 71-year-old Academy Award winner.
"I have been labeled as the other woman and have been accused of having caused the breakup of Mr. Freeman's marriage," Meyer said. "Nothing could be further from the truth. I had hoped and prayed that Mr. Freeman or his representatives would have set the record straight and cleared my name, but they have not done so and that is why I have chosen to come forward to tell the truth about our relationship."
In the days after the accident last August, Freeman's lawyer, Bill Luckett, told media outlets that Freeman and his wife of 24 years, Myrna Colley-Lee, had been separated since December 2007 and were getting a divorce. Several media outlets reported that the 48-year-old Meyer was Freeman's mistress.
Meyer said Wednesday she met Freeman the night of the accident at a dinner party at the Bayou Bend Golf and Country Club that she had been invited to by Luckett. Meyer said Freeman had been a "perfect gentleman" that evening and agreed to let her stay at one of three houses on his property, so that she "would have an easier drive to work the next morning."
Allred said the accident occurred when Freeman was driving Meyer's car with Meyer in the passenger seat from Luckett's home in Clarksdale, Mississippi, to Freeman's property in Charleston, Mississippi, some 40 miles (64 kilometers) away.
Meyer would not comment on whether Freeman was drinking that night or specify what caused the accident that left the actor with a broken arm, broken elbow and shoulder damage. Meyer's injuries included a broken left wrist, right scapula and a torn labrum.
"The accident and its aftermath has literally changed my life in every respect," Meyer said. "I sustained numerous injuries. I was unconscious following the accident ... I could not take care of myself for several months. I have not been able to go back to work and still am suffering both physically and emotionally as a result of the accident."
The lawsuit claims that Freeman failed to keep a proper lookout, maintain attention, keep the vehicle under control and obey the posted speed limit.
Meyer is suing for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, permanent disability and property damage. Allred did not specify how much in damages that Meyer, who worked as an executive assistant, is seeking with the lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court in Northern Mississippi. She said that Freeman has only provided "minimal support" for Meyer following the accident.
Freeman, who won an Oscar for his performance in 2004's "Million Dollar Baby," co-starred in last summer's "The Dark Knight." His screen credits also include "Bruce Almighty," "The Shawshank Redemption" and "Driving Miss Daisy."
Freeman and Meyer were traveling on a dark, two-lane highway that cuts through the expansive farmlands of the Mississippi Delta when the car ran off the side of the road, authorities said last August. The vehicle flipped several times but landed upright in a ditch about 5 miles (8 kilometers) west of Charleston.
"We're confident this will all be resolved," Freeman's publicist, Ken Sunshine, said Wednesday.