Ex-NFL, CFL star Moon de­nies sex­ual harassment claims

Waterloo Region Record - - SPORTS - Adam Kil­gore

Na­tional Foot­ball League Hall of Fame quar­ter­back War­ren Moon de­nied sex­ual harassment claims made against him in a law­suit by a Cal­i­for­nia woman who worked at the sports mar­ket­ing agency he led, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment re­leased by a lawyer rep­re­sent­ing him.

The law­suit, filed Mon­day in Cal­i­for­nia by Moon’s ex­ec­u­tive as­sis­tant at Sports 1 Mar­ket­ing, al­leged that Moon re­quired the plain­tiff, Wendy Haskell, to wear thong un­der­wear and sleep in his bed on work trips, among other ac­cu­sa­tions.

“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 David Fears said in a state­ment.

“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.”

Moon, 61, had served as an an­a­lyst on the Seat­tle Seahawks’ ra­dio net­work. Moon “rec­og­nizes that his du­ties as a com­men­ta­tor on the Seat­tle Seahawks ra­dio net­work will be im­pacted as he de­fends him­self against these claims,” Fears said. Moon re­quested and re­ceived a “tem­po­rary” leave of ab­sence from the net­work, Fears said.

The Seahawks had not re­sponded to a re­quest for com­ment as of Thurs­day morn­ing.

Moon hired Haskell, 32, in July. She fre­quently trav­elled with Moon for speak­ing en­gage­ments, char­ity events and other meet­ings, ac­cord­ing to the law­suit.

The law­suit al­leges Moon com­mit­ted sex­ual bat­tery by grab­bing Haskell’s crotch dur­ing a trip to Seat­tle this year.

The suit also ac­cuses Moon of pulling off the woman’s bathing suit af­ter slip­ping a drug into her drink dur­ing a sep­a­rate trip to Mex­ico in Oc­to­ber.

Ac­cord­ing to the law­suit, Moon forced Haskell to share a bed with him and wear “skimpy thong lin­gerie bot­toms” at night. Moon in­sisted she would lose her job if she did not com­ply and that his former as­sis­tant “ac­cepted the same ar­range­ment,” the law­suit claims.

Moon re­tired af­ter a 17-year NFL ca­reer in 2001 as one of the most pro­lific passers in league his­tory af­ter win­ning five Grey Cups and two Grey Cup MVP awards with the Edmonton Eski­mos of the Cana­dian Foot­ball League. Though he won the 1989 Wal­ter Pay­ton Man of the Year award for his char­ity and on-field ex­cel­lence, his ca­reer was also pock­marked with scandals in­volv­ing women.

In May 1995, a Vik­ings cheer­leader sued Moon and ac­cused him of sex­ual harassment, al­leg­ing that he of­fered her cash for sex. The case was set­tled out of court within days. In July of that year, Moon was ar­rested in Texas af­ter the quar­ter­back’s wife, Feli­cia, told po­lice he had slapped and choked her in their Hous­ton-area man­sion. Moon told re­porters the cou­ple had an ar­gu­ment and that he had made “a tremen­dous mistake.” He rec­on­ciled with his wife, who de­clined to press charges. Author­i­ties charged Moon, any­way, but Moon was ac­quit­ted af­ter Feli­cia tes­ti­fied she pro­voked the scuf­fle. The cou­ple di­vorced in 2001.

Moon co-founded Sports 1 Mar­ket­ing in ’10 and serves as its pres­i­dent.

Haskell de­clined to com­ment through her lawyer, Diana Fitzger­ald of Mi­ami. The Washington Post does not typ­i­cally name al­leged vic­tims of sex­ual as­sault, but Fitzger­ald said her client had agreed to go pub­lic.

GETTY IMAGES FOR PLAY­BOY FILE PHOTO

War­ren Moon ar­rives at the Play­boy Party at the W Scotts­dale in Ari­zona dur­ing Su­per Bowl Week­end in 2015.

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