Martin Priest is a former friend of Amy Cooper, the woman in the viral Central Park confrontation video. Cooper, a white woman, called police on an African American man named Christian Cooper, who was birdwatching. He had asked her to put her dog on a leash. Priest revealed startling details of interactions he had with Cooper that further suggest she had racist tendencies, according to The New York Post.
Priest has known Cooper since 2003. He recalled that he once opened up to her about the fact that he had voted for former President Barack Obama, who would become the first African American president of the United States. She had been shocked by this revelation and scolded him for making this decision.
"She couldn't 'believe' it," Priest recalled.
But this was only the first disagreement between the two. Cooper allegedly developed romantic feelings for Priest, who did not feel the same way. Despite the fact that he expressed that he was not interested in her that way, she was insistent. He further alleges Cooper began "stalking" and "harassing" him when she did not get her way.
The alleged stalking became so severe that he ultimately reported it to the authorities. Priest reported Cooper to police two different times and in two separate locations, once in New Jersey and once in New York City.
"The longer I avoided her, the angrier she got," Priest claimed.
Cooper has not yet responded to these allegations.
Priest and Cooper's legal woes were far from over. In 2015, Cooper filed a lawsuit against Priest, accusing him of having an affair with her as well as two other women. She also accused him of withholding $65,000 from her. Priest denied all of this and the lawsuit was dismissed. However, it left a lasting impact on his life.
"It caused me to lose my job, it was a difficult situation and unjustly alienated me from friends and family," he said.
Priest believes the lawsuit was intended to get revenge on him because he had not returned Cooper's romantic feelings for him. He expressed his sympathy for Mr. Cooper, the individual in the park who was targeted because of his race.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, a video of the confrontation that occurred in Central Park was shared online and has gone viral. As a result, Cooper faced intense backlash and lost her job. She also relinquished the dog that appeared in the viral video.