Cooler heads have prevailed in the dispute between Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Williams and his former fiancée over an engagement ring worth $785,000.
Williams and Erin Marzouki released a joint statement Thursday saying they have reached a settlement agreement regarding the ring. Terms were not disclosed.
The 28-year-old Williams filed suit in May in Harris County Court in Houston seeking the return of the 10-carat diamond ring. Marzouki subsequently filed a countersuit alleging that Williams told her to keep the ring.
Marzouki, a Houston resident, met Williams while he was a member of the Houston Texans.
The two were engaged for almost 11 months, although Marzouki alleged that Williams repeatedly broke up with her, only to reconcile, throughout the engagement.
In court papers, Williams said he gave Marzouki the ring Feb. 19, 2012. That was 3½ weeks before he signed a free-agent contract with the Bills, which was worth $100 million and made him the highest-paid defensive player in the National Football League. The engagement was broken off Jan. 21, 2013, according to court filings.
During the course of the dispute, Marzouki’s attorney, Anthony G. Buzbee, released pages of text messages sent by Williams to Marzouki in November 2012 that put Williams in an embarrassing light.
Those texts made mention of Williams having “suicidal thoughts” and indicated that Marzouki found the threat credible enough to plan an intervention.
Williams subsequently denied ever having suicidal thoughts and dismissed the content of the texts, which he suggested were taken out of context. He said he was just “venting.”
In Thursday’s statement, sent to The Buffalo News by the Buzbee Law Firm, the two sides said the terms of the settlement were confidential. The statement also said: “Mr. Williams apologizes for initiating the lawsuit. Ms. Marzouki did not deserve the media backlash she received as a result of this lawsuit, because it in no way describes her good character.
“Mr. Williams believes that Ms. Marzouki is a great person, and he regrets how their engagement ended.
“Ms. Marzouki regrets that after the lawsuit was filed, certain text messages were released by her lawyer without her knowledge that were taken out of context by the media. Ms. Marzouki believes that the media reports do not reflect the good character of Mr. Williams.”