Ben Roethlisberger, Shaquille O'Neal
A woman's sexual assault claim against Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will not derail his participation in a new ABC reality show starring NBA star Shaquille O'Neal.
A 31-year-old Lake Tahoe casino hostess has filed a civil suit against Roethlisberger, claiming the Super Bowl champ raped her in a hotel penthouse in July 2008. Roethlisberger denied the accusations Thursday, and has not been criminally charged.
"Her false and vicious allegations are an attack on my family and on me," Roethlisberger read from a prepared statement. "I would never, ever force myself on a woman."
Production on Roethlisberger's episode of Shaq Vs. was set to begin in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, and an ABC rep told TVGuide.com that production is moving forward. The show features O'Neal going head-to-head against other athletes in their sports.
Shaq Vs. is set to premiere Aug. 18. Other episodes will feature Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, boxer Oscar De La Hoya, tennis star Serena Williams and Olympic volley ball champion Misty May-Treanor.