Crystal G. Mangum Writes Memoirs
Ms. Crystal Gail Mangum was hired as a stripper for $400 the night the incident happened in March 2006. After a long court case, the state attorney general’s office concluded that there was no credible evidence to prove an attack had occurred. Crystal Gail Mangum, has since co-authored a book about the case and her life titled “The Last Dance for Grace: The Crystal Mangum Story.”
Do power relations sometimes compel women to do demeaning things? Does the gradation of society often instill and sue women to act against their interests, sometimes in ways akin to misogyny or racism? Yes of course this happens. Moreover, proving facts in a legal system that weighs credibility and integrity upon a set of criteria that may be objectively described as arbitrary i.e., involving considerations of class, race and gender based judgment wherein facts are certified. The legal system is a place where certitude becomes elusive if you can't afford justice -- through these social filters -- the theory of balance and the supposition of the impartiality of the blindfold cannot give one any sense of colloquial 'res juditaca' and lead to a realization that 'justice was served.' How far along are you along the totem pole, are you in a strategic position in the pecking order? The elements of the crime were not provable in the estimation of powerful actors and their government officials is all we can claim with certainty.
Left: Ms Mangum demands her private self back from the specter of public scandal.
"I am still claiming that a sexual assault happened," Ms. Mangum said. But she declined to go into detail. When proded about the men who allegedly raped her, she retorted that it was moot to contemplate on an impossible "justice."
"I have no comments about the details of the case," she said, adding later, "There's no point in going into that, because the trial will never happen. So what's the point? I just don't see the point."
Crystal Mangum said she wrote the book for closure and to help others. Mangum, 30, who graduated from N.C. Central University, said she hopes to get a PhD from the University of Georgia and open a group home for troubled girls. She appeared today in a neat gray suit and stylishly-cut hair, far different from her compormising image in photos taken at the team party.
"I don't mind, I guess, being sort of a sacrifice to help others as long as I can share my experience in a positive way," she said.
She wiped away tears at times, saying, "A lot of things went wrong in my case."
She said she wanted to be known for more than the lacrosse case. "This is very difficult for me, but this is something I have to do," she said.
"God has given me the grace and the courage to stand up. I'm a real person. I have feelings. I'm not just an ex-dancer. I'm not just someone who tried to frame someone who is innocent of sexual assault. My only intentions were for justice, and I wanted justice for myself."
The memoir, "The Last Dance for Grace: The Crystal Mangum Story," is being promoted by its co-author, Vincent "Ed" Clark, a former columnist for The Chapel Hill News and a self-employed publicist. Clark said the self-published book will be available through his Web site on a print-by-demand basis. A digital version of the book is also available for ten dollars less than the hard copy.
Clark said Mangum had tried to "push back against the tide of public opinion by herself" and had given interviews to television networks that never aired. "She has tried on a number of occasions to talk about her life and the sad night her life ended ... because she's a new person today," Clark said.
Left: Crystal Mangum, the alleged victim in the Duke lacrosse rape case, addresses the media during a press conference on the release of her book "The Last Dance for Grace: The Crystal Mangum Story." The woman who North Carolina prosecutors determined falsely accused three Duke lacrosse players of raping her at a team party maintains in her new memoir that she was attacked. (AP / Davis)
In excerpts released, Mangum says: "Even as I try to move on with my life, I still find it necessary to take one more stand and fight.
"I want to assert, without equivocation, that I was assaulted. Make of that what you will. You will decide what that means to you because the state of North Carolina saw fit not to look at all that happened the night I became infamous."
In the book, Mangum also says that her story "has never changed" and that some of those who participated in discrediting her were motivated by the politics of race.