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Owens: 'No suicide attempt'

Dallas WR refutes reports, works out with team

Posted: Wednesday September 27, 2006 9:19AM; Updated: Wednesday September 27, 2006 10:38PM
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DALLAS (AP) -- Terrell Owens has been stirring things up for years, from edgy touchdown celebrations to mean-spirited comments about his quarterbacks and cries of being underpaid. Yet the drama was always about football, never matters of life or death.

Then came news late Tuesday that Owens was taken in an ambulance to an emergency room. Details from the police report that came out Wednesday morning included words like suicide, overdose and depression.

Within hours, T.O. insisted it was all a misunderstanding -- then brought the story back to football.

He checked out of the hospital and made his way to Dallas Cowboys headquarters in time to catch some passes Wednesday afternoon, then showed up to a packed news conference wearing workout gear and his usual wide smile.

Owens seemed more amused than peeved. He apologized for being a distraction, thanked his friends for worrying about him and said he felt so good that he expects to play Sunday in Tennessee -- regardless of the broken hand that led to the pain pills which, in turn, led to this latest saga.

"It was just an allergic reaction," Owens said. "It's very unfortunate for the reports to go from an allergic reaction to a definite suicide attempt."

Owens was hospitalized Tuesday night for what his publicist, Kim Etheredge, called an allergic reaction to medicine he was taking for his broken hand. Then, the story erupted around 8 a.m. Wednesday, when WFAA-TV in Dallas reported details of the police report it obtained.

The document stated that a friend, later identified as Etheredge, called 911 about a suicide attempt; that she told paramedics Owens was depressed; that his bottle of painkillers was empty; and that Owens said he was trying to harm himself.

After that, specifics were hard to come by.

At a police news conference, a spokesman would only confirm they were called and that whatever happened was "not a criminal offense." He officially released the internal narrative that started all of the back-and-forth, but the juiciest parts were blacked out.

A fire department official provided even fewer details. However, the department still holds what could be the next domino to fall in this story: the tape of the 911 call from Owens' publicist after she saw him becoming incoherent a little before 8 p.m. Tuesday night.

The Associated Press filed a request under the Texas Public Information Act to get a recording of the call. Fire department spokesman Joel Lavender said it would not be available before late Wednesday, perhaps not until Friday.

Owens was seen leaving the hospital before noon, flashing a thumb's up sign to reporters. But with no other information released and Owens not yet having told his side of the story, Cowboys coach Bill Parcells was peppered with Owens-related questions at his daily news briefing. He ended up walking out nine minutes into what's normally a 25-30 minute session.

"When I find out what the hell is going on, you will know," he said. "Until then, I'm not getting interrogated for no reason."

Next up was Owens, who said he's "not depressed by any means."

"I am very happy to be here," said Owens, who received a $25 million, three-year deal from the Cowboys in March, four days after the Eagles released him.

The report said rescue workers were called because Owens attempted "suicide by prescription pain medication." There was mention of 35 pills that weren't accounted for.

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