Ferguson off the hook

2002-10-13 22:51

London - Nadia Abrahams gave lengthy interviews to two British tabloids about her "nightmare experience" with soccer icon Sir Alex Ferguson, whom she claimed was old enough to be her grandfather.

Only hours after her story was published in Britain - a transaction that reportedly landed her a five figure amount - the National Prosecution Authority announced it had no grounds to proceed with action against Ferguson. National spokesperson Sipho Ngwema said he believed the issue had been a waste of everyone's time and that steps against Abrahams might be considered in future.

Abrahams told the Sunday Mirror and The Mail on Sunday the alleged incident, denied by Ferguson, had left her "confused and feeling physically ill".

She alleged that the soccer boss had repeatedly pawed her thigh on Friday night after they had met at Manenberg's Jazz Club at the Waterfront. He reportedly appeared "slightly drunk", had been red in the face and was sweating. She couldn't establish whether he was slurring his words as she was unfamiliar with the accent.

Her three main allegations against the Manchester United soccer boss, who has been married for 36 years and has three children, are:

  • He appears to have touched her inner thigh repeatedly while she was driving. This caused her to speed, lose control and crash her car into the pavement.
  • He reportedly whispered: "The night need not end here", in an effort to lure her to his hotel room for coffee.
  • He appears to have added: "You were the sexiest woman at the party" - a remark that sent shivers of fear down her spine.

    She met him for the first time at the jazz club on Thursday night. She went to the club with a friend, a certain Randall, after an argument with her British boyfriend, advertising executive Brian Ebdon.

    They saw Sir Alex at the club with a group of men and asked him for an autograph. The soccer boss appears to have come over and started chatting to her. She alleged he stared at her and made her uncomfortable. Witnesses say she had danced provocatively in front of him.

    She alleged Dimitri Jegels, a co-owner of the club, had later taken her to Green Point where she had left her car. Ferguson, who was in a jeep, reportedly stopped next to her suddenly, jumped in her car and demanded to be taken to his hotel. He then reportedly touched her thigh. She crashed into the pavement, and after dropping Ferguson telephoned Ebden. He persuaded her to go to the police.

    In a statement, Ferguson denied the allegations. He said Abrahams had given him a lift to his hotel after he had met her at the Waterfront. According to him, nothing further had happened between them.

    His employer, Manchester United, said in a statement: "We are convinced his conduct had been professional, as always."