Schilling addresses potential Senate run, Rhode Island business failure

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BOSTON — Retired Red Sox hurler Curt Schilling, who has hinted he may run against U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren when the Cambridge Democrat is up for reelection in 2018, addressed questions Wednesday about his failed Rhode Island video game business venture during another radio appearance.

“Here’s what I can tell you — I didn’t go to the government, the government came to me,” Schilling told WRKO talk show host Jeff Kuhner during an hour-long in-studio appearance. “Rhode Island wanted jobs, Rhode Island wanted to import jobs, they came to me and made an offer that every single human being listening — Republican, Democrat, socialist — would have done the same thing I did.

“That doesn’t make it right, but they would have done the same thing I did.”

In July 2010 the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation lured Schilling’s 38 Studios company to relocate to Providence by offering a $75 million bond. The company relocated to the Ocean State in April 2011. A year later, 38 Studios declared bankruptcy.

Schilling pointed out that it was then-Gov. Don Carcieri’s administration that offered the deal. The company received $50 million during the first year of the agreement.

“Just like the hundreds of thousands of bonds that are issued every day,” Schilling added. “It wasn’t a loan. It was structured as a bond. At the end of the day 38 Studios went bankrupt because I failed to raise that final tranche of money. I can’t tell a story other than that because that’s what happened. It fell on me because I was at the top of the food chain and was the CEO of that company.”

Last month prosecutors in Rhode Island announced following a four-year investigation that they would not be filing criminal charges against Schilling.

On Wednesday Schilling defended the decision to move the business to Rhode Island.

“But to be very clear, for over five years I put food on the table and a roof over the head of over 300 families,” he said. “The downtown business area in Providence was thriving. A massive amount of money was put into that economy.”

Schilling also noted that his company did not receive the $75 million bond package and instead had to settle for $49 million.

“It wasn’t $75 million, it was supposed to be, but seven days before the deal they came and changed the number,” Schilling claimed. “We made it clear to them. They came back and told us a week before we moved. Do the math. We ended up being about $25 million short of launching the game. We couldn’t stop the move at that point.

“Me being unable to raise that final tranche of money is why the company failed; I’ll take that to my grave. It’s probably the worst experience I’ve ever had as a grownup.”

Pressed again on whether he truly intends to challenge Warren, Schilling stopped short of a promise.

“Yes, I would run, but I’m not sure if I will,” he said. “Mrs. Schilling tends to be the shot caller in my house.”

Schilling’s wife, Shonda Schilling, told the Boston Herald that her husband “does that all the time,” referencing his penchant for relying on her for the final word when it comes to family matters, and added that there “has never really been a discussion” about a run for Senate.