A day after a woman accused the Vikings' Dalvin Cook of assault, battery and false imprisonment in a civil lawsuit, the star running back has publicly maintained his innocence, telling reporters Wednesday that "I'm the victim in this situation." Cook's agent, Zac Hiller, initially told ESPN on Tuesday night that Cook had been the victim of domestic abuse and extortion, only for U.S. Military Sergeant First Class Gracelyn Trimble, reportedly Cook's ex-girlfriend, to file suit alleging she was the victim. In response, Cook said Wednesday "the truth will come out," assuring the media that he will play this Sunday and isn't concerned about future discipline.
"I just want everybody to know I'm the victim in this situation," Cook said at the start of his media availability Wednesday, "and the truth and the details about the situation will come out. Any further questions, ya'll can ask my agent, my attorney, and that'll be all."
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Asked if he could clarify conflicting reports about a November 2020 altercation at the center of both he and Trimble's accounts, Cook deferred official comment to his legal team: "I would love to. I would love to go (into) detail about the situation, but I don't think that would be a good idea for me to sit here and talk about a situation that's being handled on a different side."
Cook added that he only knew of Trimble's lawsuit when reports surfaced Tuesday night but maintained innocence, indirectly affirming his agent's claims that Trimble broke into Cook's home and assaulted him last November during a breakup between the two. Trimble's lawsuit includes screenshots of a text exchange in which Cook seemingly apologizes for his actions, but Cook's agent has also retweeted video that appears to depict Trimble threatening to use her gun to assault Cook.
"I hate being a distraction to the team," Cook explained Wednesday, "but I know those guys got my back 1,000 percent ... I know my team's here for me, and I'm here for them."
Cook has had no contact with the NFL since the conflicting allegations emerged, he said, but fully expects to play Sunday against the Chargers. The league has confirmed he remains eligible to play since no criminal charges have been filed and the NFL is still investigating the matter. Asked if he's worried that NFL discipline could still be on the horizon, Cook was clear: "Nah, I don't have any concerns."