CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Panthers star linebacker and team captain Jon Beason says he will work to clear his name in the civil lawsuit against him now that the criminal charge against him has been dropped for lack of evidence.
"For people to say certain things, it definitely gets under your skin. But, how you react to it is really revealing true character," Beason told NewsChannel 36 Friday night.
Beason says his name is everything. It is something his mom instilled in him as a boy.
"I've had a clean record all the way through," he said. He still does, after the district attorney dropped the assault charge for lack of evidence.
Gregory Frye claims Beason sucker punched him November 16th at the Uptown Cabaret and that the injuries require surgery to fix his face.
Beason was at the Uptown Cabaret celebrating a win over the Falcons. Frye claimed he saw Beason doing what he thought was cocaine at a party on Lake Norman earlier this year. Frye brought it up at the club and says Beason beat him up over the allegation.
"I've never used a drug a day in my life, nor have I ever wanted to," Beason said. That night, Beason says Frye pretended to be defensive end Tyler Brayton.
"That was kind of interesting just because I knew Tyler was home with his wife and kid." Beason says he didn't hit Frye.
The district attorney's office says no one saw Beason hit Frye that night, and no witnesses came forward afterward.
A witness named John Simmons says Frye tried to hit Beason, but missed. Simmons says he kept Beason from throwing a punch in return.
The district attorney's office cites police saying Frye was drunk, told club patrons he played for the Panthers, and showed an NFL ID card.
"It's kinda not cool to do it - 'Hey look, I play in the NFL' but for whatever reason he thinks it's cool," Beason said.
Police say Frye even told them he plays for the Panthers, according to the district attorney's letter.
"He lives in fantasy land, he wants to be a player, hangs on, and when he can't do it he gets his feelings hurt and he lives in fantasy land," said Beason's attorney George Laughrun.
The criminal charge is gone, but Frye's civil lawsuit isn't. He is seeking at least ten thousand dollars. Beason says he will not settle out of court.
"Hopefully after this it will be dropped, but if it does go to that, then I'm willing to go that route too and win that one also."
Frye's attorney Curtis Osborne has no comment regarding the dropped criminal charge.
"The burden of proof in a criminal case is proof beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a very high standard, as it should be since criminal prosecution can result in the loss of a defendant's freedom. However, the burden of proof in a civil case is different than thatn of a criminal matter," Osborne said.
Osborne says although stories vary about what happened, Frye was assaulted and injured and is hopeful the discovery process during the civil suit will reveal the truth.