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William Kennedy Smith fights sexual assault allegations

William Kennedy Smith said Monday he has resigned from the humanitarian group he founded while he fights sexual assault allegations leveled by a former employee.

"The damage has been done but the truth will be sorted out," Smith said in his first public appearance since Audra Soulias filed a lawsuit last week alleging he sexually assaulted her five years ago. Smith denied he assaulted Soulias. He said friends worried that by resigning from the Center for International Rehabilitation -- an organization that helps victims of land mines -- he would appear guilty, reports San Francisco Chronicle.

"I did have a consensual relationship with Audra Soulias in 1999," Smith said. "It was in no way forced or coerced. I cannot dignify her allegations by repeating them, even to deny them. So all I can say is that they are false."

Smith's attorney, Dan Webb, blasted the plaintiff as solely seeking money and picking as a target a member of one of the nation's most famous families, some of whom have a history of indiscretions.

Smith was acquitted of rape by a Florida jury in 1991, a case made more sensational by the presence of his uncle, Sen. Kennedy, at the scene of a drunken night of revelry that ended at the family's West Palm Beach estate.

Soulias told reporters last week she wanted no other women to suffer her fate at the hands of Smith, informs Reuters.

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