Tawana Brawley has begun making defamation payments to one of the men that she falsely accused of rape in 1987.
At the age of 15, Brawley, who was living in Wappingers Falls, claimed that she had been sexually assaulted by a gang of white men who then smeared her with feces and wrote racial slurs all over her body. The accusation quickly made national headlines, but was later determined to be a hoax. Brawley reportedly made the false claim to avoid receiving punishment from being out past her curfew.
Last week, ten checks totaling $3,764.61 were delivered to the man that she accused of this horrible crime, ex-prosecutor Steven Pagones. Pagones had sued Brawley, as well as the Rev. Al Sharpton, and attorneys C. Vernon Mason and Alton Maddox, for defamation. Sharpton, Mason and Maddox have all paid or are currently paying their debt back to Pagones. Brawley was ordered to pay $185,000 in the defamation judgment but had refused to pay anything to Pagones until this week. She now owes Pagones more than $400,000 with interest. Brawley has been ordered to pay a monthly payment of $627. “Finally, she’s paying something,” said Pagones’ attorney, Gary Bolnick. “Symbolically, I think it’s very important. You can’t just do this stuff without consequences.”
More than the money, Pagones says that he would rather receive an apology from Brawley. “Every week, she’ll think of me,” he told The Post. “And every week, she can think about how she has a way out, she can simply tell the truth.” Sadly, the apology he wants will probably never happen. Brawley and her parents still stick to the story that she was raped.