A black teenager whose tale of abduction and sexual assault by a group of white men led to months of legal commotion reportedly told a friend that she and her mother made up the story.

Tawana Brawley told the friend that she and her mother, Glenda, invented the story to keep the mother's live-in boyfriend from beating Brawley, New York Newsday reported Thursday.Brawley denied the friend's report, the newspaper said.

She was 15 when found Nov. 28, 1987, in a plastic bag, smeared with dog excrement and racial epithets. She said she had been abducted and raped over four days by five or six white men, at least one with a badge.

Hospital tests did not show signs of rape, and witnesses later said they saw her at a party during the four-day period.

Activist lawyers C. Vernon Mason and Alton Maddox and the Rev. Al Sharpton advised Brawley and her family not to cooperate with a grand jury or investigators, saying white officials were engaged in a racist cover-up.