Barkley's accuser wants an apology
By SIMONE WEICHSELBAUM
All she wants is a phone call and an apology.
The 26-year-old woman who alleged that former Sixer Charles Barkley groped her breast at a Daily News "Sexy Singles" party says she will withdraw her police complaint.
All Barkley has to do is say he's sorry.
"She just wants it to be done with," said A. Charles Peruto Jr., the high-profile lawyer who represents the woman. The Daily News is withholding her name because of the nature of the allegation.
Peruto said his client did not want to file a criminal or civil case against Barkley but will testify "if she is subpoenaed" by authorities.
Police said it now was up to the district attorney's office to decide whether to file charges against the former NBA star.
"They never called us about it," a police investigator said yesterday about the woman's offer to withdraw the complaint.
Peruto said he was waiting for Barkley's apology before calling authorities to withdraw the complaint.
Police have not spoken to Barkley yet. Contacted yesterday by the Daily News, Barkley declined comment. Efforts to reach the woman for comment were unsuccessful.
The woman, who sources said is a dancer at a downtown gentlemen's club, did not realize her complaint against Barkley would attract national media attention and feels she would have to forfeit her privacy to proceed with the allegation.
"It was a two-second incident," Peruto said. "It is not a big deal."
Peruto said she contacted him after the Sexy Singles party because he represented her before in an auto-accident case.
The woman was one of hundreds of party-goers at the Daily News' 2nd annual Sexy Singles soiree at 32° on 2nd Street near Market Thursday night.
At 1:20 a.m. the following morning, police said the woman called to report that Barkley had told her that she and her breasts were "very beautiful, then reached out and touched one.
"She was very upset" immediately following the alleged grope, but has since calmed down, Peruto said.
"I feel bad for Charles," said Peruto, who is an acquittance of his. Barkley is now a sports commentator on TNT.
Peruto, who belongs to the same gym as Barley, added:
It is "killing him."