Warren Moon denies allegations that he sexually harassed former employee, Wendy Haskell, who filed a sexual harassment and battery lawsuit against him this week. But Haskell's attorney says she believes her client has strong evidence to back up her allegations.
Seahawks broadcaster Warren Moon, a Pro Football Hall of Famer and former Washington Huskies quarterback, through his attorney denied the sexual harassment allegations made against him in a lawsuit filed by a former employee this week.
“Warren Moon has yet to be served with the lawsuit filed by Wendy Haskell, but he is aware of the claims contained in it,” attorney Daniel F. Fears said in a statement released to The Seattle Times on Thursday. “Mr. Moon denies the claims by Ms. Haskell. Mr. Moon contends these claims are meritless, and he has every intention to vigorously defend himself in court.”
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In a phone interview with The Seattle Times Thursday afternoon, Haskell’s attorney Diana Fitzgerald said Sports 1 Marketing, the company Moon founded and Haskell was employed at, has been served with the complaint and that service had been attempted on Moon.
Fitzgerald said she’s aware that Moon has denied the allegations, but said she’s seen her client’s evidence, “and I’m certain we will prevail in court.”
Fitzgerald declined to make her client available for an interview, saying, “she’s been through a very, very difficult time during the time she was employed by Sports 1 Marketing.”
“The fact that she was able to have the courage to report it to the company to begin with, it too a lot out of her,” Fitzgerald said of Haskell. “She didn’t want any other women to go through the despicable conduct she had to endure. It was important for her to do what she did, now, she’s essentially trying to recover from the emotional ordeal.”
In the lawsuit, filed Monday in Orange County, Calif., Haskell alleges that Moon, 61, sexually harassed and touched her inappropriately on multiple occasions during her the five months that she worked for Moon’s sports marketing company, Sports 1 Marketing, as the former Huskies quarterback’s executive assistant.
Per the legal filing, Wendy Haskell, 32, alleges that Moon insisted they sleep in the same hotel room and in the same bed, whenever she accompanied him on business trips. In the filing, Haskell alleges that Moon required her to “wear only lingerie” any time she was in their shared hotel room on business trips, and if she resisted this directive, he “became aggressive even to the extent of pulling her shorts down.”
In the filing, Haskell refers to one instance in which, on a business trip in Seattle, Moon grabbed her crotch while she was sleeping and that when she pushed his hand away and said “no,” she “had to endure the remainder of the night with him sleeping with his hand on her buttocks.”
In the filing, Haskell also alleges that on at least one occasion, on a trip to Cabo, Mexico, in October, Moon drugged her by slipping something in her drink, and proceeded to “despite her pleas to stop, ripping off her clothes.”
Haskell alleges in the lawsuit that she reported Moon’s ongoing sexual harassment to Sports 1 Marketing CEO David Meltzer, but that no action was taken against Moon, and that, instead, among other things, her pay was cut.
Fitzgerald said Thursday that around the time Haskell filed the lawsuit against Moon, she informed Sports 1 Marketing that “based on what she experienced, she wasn’t comfortable going back into that work environment.”
Haskell has not filed a police report against Moon at this time, Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald said Haskell allowed her name to be made public in the lawsuit because “she wanted a voice attached to her name.”
“She decided to take that step,” Fitzgerald said. “I’m very inspired by her courage. She made the decision to right a very giant wrong, and she knew stepping into those shoes would require a lot of courage and confidence, and she mustered up everything she had.”
After news of Haskell’s lawsuit against Moon broke Wednesday, the Seahawks said Moon was taking a leave of absence, and they replaced him with Dave Wyman on their radio broadcast of Sunday’s Seahawks game in Jacksonville, Fla.
“Mr. Moon recognizes that his duties as a commentator on the Seattle Seahawks radio network will be impacted as he defends himself against these claims, and he has requested a temporary leave of absence from his duties with the Seahawks, which has been granted,” Fears, Moon’s attorney, said in a statement.
Fears did not respond to an email or phone message left Thursday requesting an interview with Moon.