Amarillo Slim ontkent aantijgingen van seksueel misbruik

Thomas Austin Preston Jr, beter bekend als Amarillo Slim, was lange tijd één van de meest gewaardeerde ambassadeurs van de pokersport. Zijn boek, Amarillo Slim in a World Full of Fat People, biedt nog steeds één van de meest vermakelijke inkijkjes in de wereld van de old school gamblers, hustlers en cardsharks.

Maar aan zijn status als levende pokerlegende kwam abrupt een einde, toen hij in 2003 beschuldigd werd van seksueel misbruik van zijn toen twaalf-jarige kleindochter. Veel juridisch getouwtrek volgde, en het schandaal dreigde Prestons familie uiteen te rijten.

Er volgde een officiële aanklacht, die uiteindelijk teruggebracht werd tot ‘misdemeanor assault’. Deze accepteerde Preston, waardoor hij er met een boete van $4.000 en twee jaar voorwaardelijk vanaf kwam. De schade aan zijn reputatie bleek echter onherstelbaar. Hij verloor veel vrienden, en een geplande verfilming van zijn boek werd geannulleerd.

Nu, bijna zes jaar na dato, doet Amarillo Slim een poging om iets van die schade te herstellen. In een interview met Nolan Dalla praat hij voor het eerst in het openbaar over de aanklacht. Het eerste deel van dit tweeluik staat nu online, op Pokerlistings.com.

In het interview ontkent Slim de aantijgingen. Hij beschrijft een incident waarin hij met zijn kleindochter en andere kleinkinderen in zijn pick-uptruck zit en haar slechts vriendelijk op haar been klopt. “We were all in there together. The sexual harassment that occurred, I can’t imagine it. […] Since this alleged incident that young lady has been in my lap 60 times. You think if I would have done anything to her she would have come back and got in my lap?”

Ook weerlegt Slim dat zijn zoon, schoondochter en ex-vrouw het verhaal wél geloven. “That’s not true anymore. All of them have since written letters about these charges saying it was a big mistake and the sexual abuse never happened.”

Lees het gehele interview hier. Morgen verschijnt deel 2 online, waarin de gevallen pokerlegende uitlegt waarom hij uiteindelijk toegaf en genoegen nam met een (lage) straf.

4 Comments

  1. wat me opvalt bij de reacties op pokerlistings is hoeveel mensen er toch bereid zijn om dingen als ‘waar rook is…’ te roepen. what ever happened to ‘innocent until proven guilty?’

  2. wat me opvalt bij de reacties op pokerlistings is hoeveel mensen er toch bereid zijn om dingen als ‘waar rook is…’ te roepen. what ever happened to ‘innocent until proven guilty?’

  3. Re: Amarillo Slim Breaks His Silence
    ——————————————————————————–
    I played poker with Amarillo Slim off an on since 1961. I attended the World Series of Poker most years after 1975. As a writer, and press person, I always, always pointed out Amarillo Slim to anyone with a press badge. I told them truthfully that he was the best interveiw there, or anywhere. I did not tell them he would rather climb a Georgia Pine and lie, than stand on the ground and tell the truth, when the truth was more interesting. I wrote an article about gambler’s nicknames. In the lead, I said that, “Amarillo Slim is the best known gambler in the world.”
    Everyone always gossiped about Slim. We heard of his road tricks and tall tales. However, WE DID NOT ever hear he was any kind of sexual weirdo. Sailor Roberts and Doyle Brunson slept in the same room with Slim as they white-lined it crossroading. Doyle says he is innocent and I go with that. His family is back with him. That says they believe his innocence. What Slim will not say is that his Granddaughter lied. But it is there between the lines.
    It would have been absolutely CRAZY to go before a Texas jury on any sex charge. Innocence and guilt are weighed in a plea bargain against freedom or the certainty of the Texas pen.
    We had a case in Tulia, near Amarillo, where one rogue, lying undercover narc had most of the black people in town arrested for cocaine. A book was written, TV specials were done. The Governor pardoned many. Many of these innocent people were in the penitentary over plea bargains. Five years of your life over the possibility of eighty years was the choice. Sure they were framed. They had to plead guilty. This is Texas. Slim had to plead to the lessor charge once charges were brought against him. THERE WAS NO OTHER CHOICE. These folks that keep saying why would he plead guilty if he was innocent. The answer is, TO AOID A LONG PRISON SENTENCE. This happens everyday in the Lone Star State.
    Nolan Dalla is Mr. Integrity in the poker writing world. This interview persuades me Slim was innocent. Here in West Texas, gamblers don’t get a fair shake at the courthouse on other charges. I have to take off my shoes to count all the professional gamblers who went to the Texas penitentary that were wrongly convicted.
    JohnnyHughes.com,author,
    Texas Poker Wisdom

  4. Re: Amarillo Slim Breaks His Silence
    ——————————————————————————–
    I played poker with Amarillo Slim off an on since 1961. I attended the World Series of Poker most years after 1975. As a writer, and press person, I always, always pointed out Amarillo Slim to anyone with a press badge. I told them truthfully that he was the best interveiw there, or anywhere. I did not tell them he would rather climb a Georgia Pine and lie, than stand on the ground and tell the truth, when the truth was more interesting. I wrote an article about gambler’s nicknames. In the lead, I said that, “Amarillo Slim is the best known gambler in the world.”
    Everyone always gossiped about Slim. We heard of his road tricks and tall tales. However, WE DID NOT ever hear he was any kind of sexual weirdo. Sailor Roberts and Doyle Brunson slept in the same room with Slim as they white-lined it crossroading. Doyle says he is innocent and I go with that. His family is back with him. That says they believe his innocence. What Slim will not say is that his Granddaughter lied. But it is there between the lines.
    It would have been absolutely CRAZY to go before a Texas jury on any sex charge. Innocence and guilt are weighed in a plea bargain against freedom or the certainty of the Texas pen.
    We had a case in Tulia, near Amarillo, where one rogue, lying undercover narc had most of the black people in town arrested for cocaine. A book was written, TV specials were done. The Governor pardoned many. Many of these innocent people were in the penitentary over plea bargains. Five years of your life over the possibility of eighty years was the choice. Sure they were framed. They had to plead guilty. This is Texas. Slim had to plead to the lessor charge once charges were brought against him. THERE WAS NO OTHER CHOICE. These folks that keep saying why would he plead guilty if he was innocent. The answer is, TO AOID A LONG PRISON SENTENCE. This happens everyday in the Lone Star State.
    Nolan Dalla is Mr. Integrity in the poker writing world. This interview persuades me Slim was innocent. Here in West Texas, gamblers don’t get a fair shake at the courthouse on other charges. I have to take off my shoes to count all the professional gamblers who went to the Texas penitentary that were wrongly convicted.
    JohnnyHughes.com,author,
    Texas Poker Wisdom

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