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Special Event

Chmura Thanks Supporters in Press Conference

Aired February 4, 2001 - 2:00 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

BRIAN NELSON, CNN ANCHOR: Former pro football star Mark Chmura is expected to speak momentarily this afternoon after his acquittal yesterday. Late Saturday, a Wisconsin jury found the ex-Green Bay Packer not guilty of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl at a post- prom party.

Mr. Chmura's accuser used to babysit for his two sons, and Chmura, accompanied by his attorney and his wife, are now beginning a news conference; his attorney is at the microphone now, in a news conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Let's listen in for a few moments here.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

GERALD BOYLE, CHMURA'S ATTORNEY: ...as soon as we know there will not be civil litigation. Unless you all want to pull all your money and cover me for malpractice insurance, Mr. Chmura will not answer any questions, because he cannot, and that's because I told him he cannot. And from the very first day he has abided by that advice, and he will continue to do so.

We are also not here to answer any questions that you already know about, such as, what happened in that home. He is not going to answer questions about why he was there, why he did not stop people from drinking, why he went into a hot tub -- it's immaterial and irrelevant. He has gone through 10 months of literal hell, waiting to go before a jury of his peers, so they could decide whether or not he committed the crimes he was accused of.

He has now been found not guilty; that means he is not guilty. It doesn't mean that he might be somewhat guilty, he is not guilty, and we are not going to answer any questions until he has certification that there will not be a lawsuit, and then we will hold a press conference, and he will reveal exactly what went on in that bathroom, and he will be happy to do it, because he has nothing to hide, but he cannot do it now because there is a threat of a lawsuit.

Secondly, he has indicated to me, he has learned that during the course of the trial, there were hundreds, hundreds of people waiting to get in the trial on a daily basis; they were there to support Mr. Chmura. It was clear to me they were there to support Mr. Chmura, because of what they were saying to me. We are going to try and set up -- next Sunday from 3 to 6:00 -- some sort of an open house so that those people who did not get a chance, with Mark Chmura, to thank them for their support, so that will be announced at a later time, but we are planning on -- they want me to set something up -- I don't know where we're going to do it yet, but I wanted to make that announcement.

I would like to sit down very quickly, but I want to say this; that since April 10th of last year, up until this moment, there has been an unbelievable change in Mr. Chmura. How he withstood the agonizing pressure of this, I have no idea. I have never seen anybody handle it like he has.

There was no hatred, there was no avarice, extreme disappointment in the district attorney, of course, but to be able to go on a daily basis and know that you are looking at 40 years in prison, to be totally shunned by the majority of people in this state, to be ridiculed, to be challenged, to be questioned, and to be able to withstand that, and in the process, become extremely spiritual.

I have seen a lot of clients that I had that got very spiritual, and as soon as the problem was over, they weren't so spiritual. I can assure you, I have never seen such spiritual growth in a person as I have seen in Mr. Chmura. The irony of it is, I used to apologize to him, because I use a lot of street language, he never does.

And I just cannot tell you how much I have come to respect this young man who has gone from top of the mountain to the bottom of the valley, and I can assure you, from what I have been seeing, he is going to be back on the top of the mountain again.

So, having said that, knowing your job, and knowing you guys ask hard questions, I would hope that you would understand the parameters of this press conference, and afterwards, if there is any follow up, that you need me or anyone up here, including Jon Dranna (ph) or Brigitte or Jonathan, or as we call him, Don King, because he is always, kind of, in the background. If you have any questions of any of them, we will be glad to answer them, and Linda, of course, will make herself available -- Mark.

MARK CHMURA, FRM. GREEN BAY PACKER: Thank you, Jerry. I am going to try to get through this. I would like to thank you all for coming. I know, as a Green Bay Packer and a professional athlete, I have disappointed many, many people. And for that, I am truly sorry.

I promise you, nothing like this will ever happen again.

I would like to thank the people of Wisconsin for their prayers, and those of you that gave me my presumption of innocence from the start. And I would like to thank my wife, my family and friends who have stood by me since day one. I would like to thank my legal team, everybody involved in the case, the Boyle family: Marna (ph), Helen, Jerry Jr., I love you all.

I would like thank John Dranna (ph), one of my best friends, who was there from day one, who stood by me. I love him like a brother. Brigitte and Jonathan, you guys are the best. To Jerry.

BOYLE: Well, I guess, let me just say, if that is not proof of what I was saying, nothing is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me try to express Mark's gratitude to Jerry Boyle. From day one, he has told me, that there is no greater man that he has ever met, not as an attorney but as a human being than Jerry Boyle, and his wife, and family, and I can personally speak for Dillon Chmura and Dyson Chmura, and I look forward to the day when they are old enough when Mark can tell them about Mr. Gerald Boyle, and more than an attorney, he has been a father-like figure to Mark, and really, I think, to everyone standing here.

So, I know Mark would want to express that to you, Jerry. And you are the one guy who is slugging it out, and is standing by him every step of the way, and you are a class individual, and one heck of an attorney.

BOYLE: Now, this would be the time when I would be substituted for Mark at tight end, and get the pass and drop it! And everybody would say, you mother -- no, they wouldn't say that.

NELSON: You have been listening to a very, very emotional news conference by Mark Chmura, the former Green Bay Packer, a linebacker, and who had been accused by the baby-sitter of his two sons of having assaulted her. He was found not guilty yesterday, and he attempted to express his emotions today; he did not entirely succeed, but he is obviously a very relieved man.

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