Simoni Lawrence, former U of M captain, still hasn't paid woman he hit on I-94
|Lawrence was an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention selection during his senior season at the U of M.|
THE BACKSTORY: Simoni Lawrence screwing over woman he hit on I-94
With the CFL season through and Simoni spending at least part of his offseason back in Minneapolis, 57-year-old Whittier resident Karla Rehberg hoped Lawrence would finally reimburse him for causing upwards of $3,000 of damage to her 2010 Honda Fit when he rear-ended her on I-94 near downtown Minneapolis last March. But the self-employed hairdresser says Simoni won't even return her phone calls anymore.
As we told you about in the article linked above, following the I-94 accident, Lawrence gave Rehberg his Geico insurance card. But when Rehberg called Geico to follow up, she was informed Lawrence hadn't paid his premiums and wasn't covered.
He may not have had insurance, but according to Rehberg, he had at one time or another owned an impressive fleet of vehicles.
"Geico started naming all these cars because he had a policy with them, and I thought they were actually just naming off categories of cars," she told us last summer.
Lawrence told Rehberg he'd need a few months to come up with the dough to reimburse her, and Rehberg agreed to wait, even if she was annoyed to see a tweet from him indicating he at least had enough money to fix the flashy white Camero he was driving when he rear-ended her. Simoni suggested he'd take care of her car once the CFL season was through and agreed to meet up with Rehberg at an auto repair place in Minneapolis a couple weeks ago. But Rehberg says he stood her up and is no longer responding to her attempts to communicate with him.
In a bizarre twist, an employee at the auto repair shop at which the aforementioned meeting was supposed to happen called Rehberg on Friday and told her they'd received a call from Lawrence's attorney, Lee Hutton. Hutton told the auto shop all communication with Simoni would have to be routed through him from now on.
"No lawyer has ever contacted me about this," Rehberg says. "I don't know if it's a scare tactic, but in any event it's very odd."
Part of the issue, Rehberg said, is that Simoni wants to have her car worked on at a repair shop of his choice in order to keep things as cheap as possible. But Rehberg doesn't trust Lawrence's preferred shop.
"The law says I can choose where it's going to be fixed," Rehberg said. "I don't see how he can tell me where to take my car."
In an email exchange with City Pages, Lawrence said he's "not trying to big time you saying that I can't talk to you because honestly I'm not even famous like that," but referred all further questions to Hutton. As this is published, Hutton still hasn't responded to our voicemail.
In the meantime, Rehberg continues to drive her damaged car. She says she'll continue to do so through the holidays but is considering either pursuing legal recourse against Lawrence or just paying the $750 deductible out of pocket and hoping her insurance company can recoup the money from him.
"I don't know if this is just a thing where he wants to call all the shots, or if he thinks I'm trying to screw him or what," Rehberg said. "But it's so odd to see this professional football player who thinks he isn't going to have to pay for this."
-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at email@example.com.