A defiantly unapologetic Tawana Brawley began paying off damages last week, 25 years after falsely accusing ex-prosecutor Steven Pagones of rape, The New York Post reported.
Ten checks totaling $3,764.61 were delivered to Mr. Pagones — the first payments Miss Brawley has made since she defamed him in 1988, The Post said. She still owes Mr. Pagones $431,000.
A Virginia court this year ordered the money garnisheed from six months of Miss Brawley’s wages as a licensed practical nurse at The Laurels of Bon Air in Richmond, The Post reported. She can appeal the wage garnishment every six months.
“It’s a long time coming,” he said, adding that he would have forgiven the debt if Miss Brawley gave a confession.
“Every week, she’ll think of me,” he said. “And every week, she can think about how she has a way out — she can simply tell the truth.”
But until then, Miss Brawley will pay Mr. Pagones $627 each month, possibly for the rest of her life, The Post reported.
She was only 15 when she concocted an elaborate hoax, claiming she was the victim of rape and torture “whose shocking brutality sparked a national outrage and stoked racial tensions,” The Post said.
The Rev. Al Sharpton and attorneys C. Vernon Mason and Alton Maddox were top advisers to Miss Brawley during the explosive controversy. Mr. Maddox was found liable for defamation for $97,000, Mr. Mason for $188,000, and Mr. Sharpton for $66,000 — “money that was paid by celebrity lawyer Johnnie Cochran and other benefactors,” The Post said.
Mr. Sharpton has never apologized for his role in the hoax. Mr. Mason has remained mostly silent, and Mr. Maddox continues to fight for Miss Brawley. He tried to petition the Surry County court to halt the garnishment of her wages, The Post reported.