PHILADELPHIA – A woman said she had a sexual relationship with Pete Rose in the 1970s, starting when she was 14 or 15 years old, according to her sworn testimony submitted to a court Monday.
The testimony was presented by the defense as part of a federal lawsuit Rose filed last year in Philadelphia against a lawyer whose investigation got baseball’s all-time hits leader kicked out of Major League Baseball for gambling.
Rose contends John Dowd defamed him in 2015 by saying on the radio that the former baseball great had raped young teen girls during spring training. Rose, 76, has acknowledged having a relationship with the woman beginning when she was 16, the age of consent in Ohio.
Rose’s lawyer Ray Genco said the woman’s claims are unverified.
“At this point it’s just a big distraction,” Genco said. “It tips me off that (Dowd) really can’t defend himself.”
The attorney also accused Dowd of dragging “Pete’s name through the mud.”
Rose alleges in the lawsuit that Dowd damaged his reputation and endorsement deals during a July 2015 interview on WCHE-AM radio in West Chester.