Allegations that Buffalo Bills running back LeSean “Shady” McCoy orchestrated the vicious robbery attack of his one-time girlfriend Delicia Cordon at the Georgia home from which he has legally filed to evict her has put him in the hot seat. Photos of a badly beaten Cordon posted on her best friend Mia Michelle Boykin’s Instagram page shortly after the attack July 10 pointing fingers at McCoy set off a social media frenzy as domestic accusations spread like wildfire. So far the assailant has yet to be apprehended. Therefore, there is no confirmation of any direct involvement by McCoy. Through social media, McCoy has also denied the allegations that he set Cordon up. He has also retained the services of high-profile criminal defense attorney Don Samuel who represented then Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis in a double-homicide case in Atlanta, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger against rape charges and even rapper T.I. Both the NFL and McCoy’s team the Buffalo Bills are investigating the allegations.
Although McCoy has not been charged criminally or suspended from the NFL, there is a lot of public opinion working against him. Also McCoy’s eviction proceedings against Cordon has ignited discussion about why it’s important for women to be self-sufficient. Los Angeles-based attorneys Demetria Graves and Merissa V. Grayson, founders of The Elite Firm, which is a full-service law firm, and crisis management agency, who specialize in representing high-profile clients, weigh in on this explosive case.
Even for women who don’t date wealthy athletes and entertainers like Cordon, the eviction proceedings should be a wake-up call. Girlfriends have no rights in the eyes of the law. Once a relationship is over, women like Cordon are left with virtually nothing. That is even true for women who have been in relationships longer than the almost two years Cordon has lived in the Georgia home owned by McCoy. “People often talk about well what’s the point in getting married, that’s one of the benefits of marriage,” says Grayson.
“When you own property together or even if your spouse owns property, whether you’re on the lease [or mortgage] or not or whether you agreed to it formally or not, you still would be entitled to some of the proceeds if the house is sold or to be reimbursed for some of the expenses that you may have contributed. If you’re not married, you don’t have that benefit. So that’s where we have that fine line of girlfriend versus wife.”
Graves adds that, “Most states don’t have common law marriages anymore.”
For men or women who are wealthier than the person, romantic or otherwise, that they are welcoming into their homes, Graves says “If you think someone is going to be there long-term, have some form of written understanding if you’re not married as to what the expectations are . . . in California [and many other states], if someone lives in your home . . ., you have to do eviction proceedings. So you can’t say, ‘Oh you’ve been here six months, I’m ready for you to go; you have to get out.”
“If you’re not married,” says Grayson, “if you’re not the one that owns the home, you have to have your plan b. . . . Divorce clients have rights that unmarried ones don’t have.”
“You can stay until the eviction is final but once it’s done, it’s done,” says Grayson. “They’re not required to continue supporting you or your business.”
Engagement doesn’t change anything either. “I think people should know too in some states, if you don’t get married, you have to give the ring back,” says Graves. “That doesn’t necessarily mean a bracelet,” she adds.
Unrelated to the attack, eviction proceedings against Cordon were moved to August. As that case progresses forward, McCoy could arguably use Cordon’s lavish Instagram posts as evidence that she has had the means to move herself, her kids and family members from the home prior to the attack. Graves, however, believes that Cordon, who boasts that she is a designer, can make a strong case against that presumption.
“My argument would be social media is a façade,” Graves says of Cordon. “I can say I’m anybody I want to be on social media. That doesn’t make it true. That doesn’t mean I actually have the money to move. That doesn’t mean I actually have the resources. I can put anything on social media and live any life I want to live. It doesn’t really reflect my true financial situation.”
Grayson says McCoy’s team could actually “subpoena bank statements and see . . . how much [Cordon was] spending on these trips [she posted on Instagram] and how long these trips take place and where the money is coming from.” Either way, McCoy, as the main controller of the home in question, is still in the strongest position even if this argument fails because he and Cordon are not married.
As for potential criminal allegations against McCoy, Grayson believes he has done the right thing by hiring a criminal defense attorney and denying the allegations that he was involved in the attack against Cordon. And while Cordon’s attorney shared that McCoy didn’t call to check up on her client as a negative, Grayson believes it’s very wise that McCoy does not contact Cordon, with whom he says he has not engaged for weeks. “If I was his attorney, I would [advise] ‘you better not call that girl.’”
Whether McCoy is guilty or not, at this stage, he is very vulnerable when it comes to the NFL says Graves. “They are super strict right now about domestic violence and about the image of their organization because they’ve been under such attack for taking these situations so lightly so they have a zero tolerance policy right now,” she explains. “So it would not surprise me if they say ‘you know what, we have to disconnect ourselves from you at this point.’”
And distancing themselves is up to their discretion says Graves. “The NFL can do what they want,” she says.
There’s no question for Grayson about McCoy’s outcome in the worst case scenario. “If he is found guilty of this,” she says, “he’s not going to play football.” And should he be found innocent, Grayson believes “he will bounce back” and should most likely pursue defamation charges. Recently, Cordon, through her lawyer, expressed that she is no longer as adamant as she was in the initial 911 calls that her ex, McCoy, set her up.
In the end, however, what has transpired is not a good look. Both Graves and Grayson believe that legal agreements are in the best interest of both parties who choose to live together and not marry regardless of how in love they may be at the time. Because when things fall apart, they can indeed get as ugly as McCoy and Cordon’s relationship has.