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High-profile attorney represents alleged face-eater's girlfriend who says she felt 'safe' with him

posted 6 Jun 2012, 13:58 by Mpelembe   [ updated 6 Jun 2012, 13:59 ]

A Miami woman who says she was the girlfriend of a man police say they shot to death after he refused to stop eating a homeless man's face -- says he was a family man who didn't abuse drugs or alcohol.

MIAMI, FLORIDA  (MIAMI HERALD - A woman who says she was the girlfriend of a Miami man shot to death by police who said he was eating the face of a naked, homeless man, said on Wednesday (June 6) that she felt safe with him.

Thirty-one-year-old Yovanka Bryant, a single mother of three employed by an accountant, told reporters at a Miami news conference she had been dating Rudy Eugene since March of this year.

Standing by her attorney Gloria Allred, Bryant said the two read the Bible together and watched religious television shows. Denying suggestions that Eugene had a drug problem, Bryant said he was never violent towards her and that the Eugene she knew liked to play sports with her brother and cousins.

"Rudy never drank alcohol or used drugs around me. I only saw him smoke a marijuana cigarette once. One thing that I loved about Rudy is how he talked about his family; he loved his mother and his grandmother very dearly. The care that he expressed for my son, the friend he became to my brother and cousins and the man he was to me will never be forgotten. I felt safe with Rudy," she said.

Attorney Gloria Allred, best known for representing high-profile women in California celebrity cases, rejected suggestions that Bryant was planning a lawsuit or was looking for a book, movie or magazine deal.

"This is a high-profile case. She wanted to have the truth come out about her relationship with Rudy Eugene and have people understand who he was from her point of view, from her knowledge, from her experience. And that is why I am here: to help her have a voice," she said.

The Miami Herald has interviewed a woman who claimed to have a 5-year romantic relationship with Eugene. Allred told reporters Bryant was not that woman.

On Saturday (May 26), a Miami police officer shot and killed a naked man they later identified as Rudy Eugene after he was found chewing on a homeless man's face on an exit ramp of a major causeway.