ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) - Mario Williams refused to be labeled as someone who was emotionally unstable in dismissing questions about his mental state raised by a series of text messages from his former fiancee.
In his first opportunity to respond to a transcript of a text conversation released by Erin Marzouki's attorney last week, Williams, a defensive end for the Buffalo Bills, defended himself Monday by saying he's never contemplated suicide and doesn't have an issue with taking painkillers. He then went on the offensive in accusing Marzouki of attempting to take private comments out of context in a bid to win a lawsuit over the possession of a $785,000 diamond engagement ring.
"Obviously it's just a tactic to cover up the point of the whole thing," Williams said. "It is what it is. I could really care less. All it is (is) allegations and text messages and what not, whatever information blown out of proportion. I mean, it's completely out of context."
Williams added Marzouki's decision to make the conversation public is something that shows her true character.
"You sit here and text somebody who was supposed to mean this and that to you, and then this happens? No, it's better off," Williams said. "So I'm glad this is actually coming out."
Williams spoke after the Bills opened their second week of voluntary minicamp practices. And it marks the second consecutive week the dispute between Williams, the NFL's highest paid defensive player, and Marzouki has captured most of the attention.
Williams filed a lawsuit in Texas' Harris County district court May 3, demanding Marzouki return the ring and accusing her of breaking off the engagement in January. Marzouki filed a countersuit last week, calling Williams' claims "ridiculous" and "patently false," and argued it was the player who broke off the engagement.
The lawsuit was filed a little more than a year after Williams and Marzouki happily posed for pictures in the Bills media room once the team signed the free-agent to a six-year, $100 million contract.
On Friday, after the two sides failed to mediate the dispute, Marzouki's lawyer, Tony Buzbee, characterized Williams as someone who experienced "dramatic mood swings" during the engagement. Buzbee then released the texts of the conversation that occurred Nov. 11 which he copied off his client's phone in an effort to show how despondent Williams was over their breakup.
In one text, Williams wrote: "No money in the world should leave me with suicidal thoughts."
On Monday, Williams called himself "completely fine."