North Carolina Woman Voluntarily Dismisses Civil Lawsuit Against Chicago Bears and Mario Edwards Jr.;  the attorney says she plans to refile at a later date

The North Carolina woman who sued Chicago Bears and defensive lineman Mario Edwards Jr. last year voluntarily dismissed her lawsuit earlier this month, according to Mecklenburg County court records.

On October 14, Joann Blakney presented a civil lawsuit charging Edwards with assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress and the Bears with negligent supervision and defamation in connection with an altercation at a Charlotte, NC hotel on October 17, 2020.

The Bears filed a motion to dismiss his case, but Blakney withdrew his complaint before the team’s motion was heard in court this month. A Bears source said the team did not try to work out a deal with Blakney. Edwards also did not try to reach an agreement, according to his agent, Peter Schaffer.

Blakney also dismissed complaints against Bears vice president of security John Tarpey and Stanford Hotels Corporation employees Paul Horner and Jeffrey A. Burton, court records show.

Criminal charges against Edwards and Blakney for the October 2020 incident are still pending, according to the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s office.

Blakney’s attorney, Arcangela Mazzariello, said in an email that she plans to refile the civil suit after dealing with her client’s misdemeanor criminal charge of simple assault. Mazzariello said the criminal case is on the court file this week.

Edwards faces a criminal charge of misdemeanor assault. on a woman, but the summons has not been served because she has not returned to North Carolina.

The incident occurred the night before the Bears played the Carolina Panthers in October 2020.

According to the suit, Blakney said that she had consensual oral sex with Edwards, but that he became violent when she refused his request to have sex. Schaffer said last year that Edwards engaged in consensual sexual activity with Blakney and left when she became angry over a disagreement over the scope of her relationship.

Blakney alleged in the complaint that shortly after the incident, Bears employees asked her if she wanted or needed money, brought Edwards to her despite her wishes, and publicly said she was a prostitute.

a police report obtained by the Tribune listed Edwards and a 28-year-old woman as victims and said officers were responding to a report of “a woman hitting a man with her hand and scratching his forehead.” The report stated that Blakney went to the hospital for her injuries, which were listed as “bruises/scratches.” She said in the lawsuit that the injuries included a concussion and trauma to her vision and abdomen.

The NFL completed an investigation of the incident last summer and concluded that “there was insufficient evidence to support a finding that there was a violation of the Personal Conduct Policy.”

Edwards is in the second year of a three-year, $11.66 million contract with the Bears.

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