Duped by Doper? Insurance Company Plans $12M Lawsuit Against Lance Armstrong (EXCLUSIVE)
An attorney for SCA Promotions says the firm will reclaim every bit of cash it once paid the shamed cyclist.
"We will sue to undo the previous arbitration to recover the money as soon as possible, and we will also make claims that Mr. Armstrong lied under oath," Jeffrey Tillotson, who represents SCA Promotions, told Celebuzz exclusively.
Armstrong sued the Texas insurance company in 2004 when it withheld a $5 million bonus he'd been promised for winning his sixth Tour de France title. At the time, the firm didn't want to pay the cyclist because a book alleged that he had used performance-enhancing drugs.
But in 2005, Armstrong sued the Texas insurance company for the cash -- and openly lied to Tillotson under oath during an arbitration hearing by claiming he never took illegal substances for his Tour de France victories in 2002, 2003 and 2004. SCA eventually paid Armstrong an estimated $12 million -- $7.5 million in a 2006 settlement and $4.5 million for previous victories.
"This man is a liar, a bully and a cheat. We paid him this money, and it was a total falsehood," Tilltoson said. "The legal profession is supposed to be based on people telling the truth. Well, this guy did not just run a red light, he lied in a cold and calculated way and even attacked my client for daring to challenge him."
"Make no mistake: Lance Armstrong used his power and influence to bully people, and I am glad he did not get away with it."
On Thursday, Armstrong finally came clean about his years of doping to Oprah Winfrey, in his first public interview since he was accused of running a "sophisticated" doping ring to secure his victories.
"I view this situation as one big lie that I repeated a lot of times," he said in an interview that aired on Oprah's Next Chapter.
He admitted that he doped in some form for each of his seven Tour de France victories, though he maintained that the last time that he "crossed that line" was in 2005.
But Dallas-based lawyer Tillotson did not believe the disgraced cyclist's confession went far enough for victims like Betsy Andreu and her husband, Frankie Andreu, who was once part Armstrong's Tour De France team.
"I took depositions from both Betsy and Frankie Andreu, and they were really pressured and bullied by Armstrong over the years," revealed the lawyer. "For him to brush them off in the Oprah Winfrey interview by saying, 'At least I did not call Betsy Andreu fat' was very callous indeed.
"But that is Lance Armstrong. He is like a one-man wrecking machine who took on everyone as if they were all in the wrong. Both myself and my colleagues actually thought that the day would never come when he would be caught, but thankfully we were wrong, and that time has finally come."