Morgan Freeman's "Just Friends" Companion Sues Over Crash

Demaris Meyer, who was also injured in an August rollover crash with the actor, sues for negligence, maintains she was not "the other woman"

By Natalie Finn, Breanne L. Heldman Feb 26, 2009 12:12 AMTags
Morgan FreemanJason Kempin/Getty Images

Morgan Freeman is still feeling the heat from last summer's rollover car crash.

Freeman's passenger that dark night, Demaris Meyer, has sued the Oscar winner for negligence—and is also taking the opportunity to set the record straight on why she was in the actor's car that night.

In the suit filed Wednesday in Mississippi federal court, Meyer alleges that Freeman consumed a few alcoholic beverages before getting behind the wheel of the Nissan Maxima. (View the lawsuit.)

She and the actor met at a dinner party where, the suit states, "throughout the course of dinner and afterward drinks were consumed by Freeman." They later met up at her friend's home, where she claims she saw him have "at least one more drink."

Meyer alleges that Freeman—whom she was "just friends" with—then invited her to stay overnight in one of the three houses on his property to avoid a long drive back to her place.

And at a news conference today, Meyer stressed the "just friends" part.

"I have been labeled as the other woman and have been accused of having caused the breakup of Mr. Freeman's marriage," Meyer said. "Nothing could be further from the truth. I had hoped and prayed that Mr. Freeman or his representatives would have set the record straight and cleared my name, but they have not done so and that is why I have chosen to come forward to tell the truth about our relationship."

After the accident, it was revealed that Freeman and his wife of 24 years, Myrna Colley-Lee, were in the middle of a divorce, having been separated since December 2007.

Freeman behaved like a "perfect gentleman" the night of the crash, Meyer said.

But on the way to Freeman's Charleston, Miss., residence, at about 11:30 p.m., he lost control of the Maxima on a rural road. The Bucket List star required surgery for nerve damage in his broken arm and elbow, while Meyer's injuries included a broken left wrist and damage to her right shoulder.  

She is suing for compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and permanent disability in the form of short-term memory loss and additional damages.

"The accident and its aftermath has literally changed my life in every respect," Meyer said today. "I sustained numerous injuries. I was unconscious following the accident...I could not take care of myself for several months. I have not been able to go back to work and still am suffering both physically and emotionally as a result of the accident."