A 27-year-old former exotic dancer has accused Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones of sexual assault, claiming that the Cowboys knew of a 2009 assault and covered it up.
Jana Weckerly is seeking “over $1 million” in monetary relief, according to the lawsuit filed Monday, alleging that Jones “forcibly penetrated” her with his fingers without her consent, CNN reports. Jones then intimidated her into keeping silent about the assault, according to the suit.
The team reacted strongly to the suit, with Cowboys attorney Levi McCathern calling the allegations “completely false” and a “shakedown,” CNN reports.
“The legal complaint is unsupported by facts or evidence of any kind,” McCathern said. “This is nothing more than an attempt to embarrass and extort Jerry Jones.”
Weckerly has dealt with depression and substance abuse since the assault, according to the suit. The suit comes at a bad time for the NFL, which is already facing broad criticism over its handling of Ray Rice’s physical assault against his then-fiancee, now wife. Rice was cut but the Baltimore Ravens and indefinitely suspended by the league after a video leaked this week of him knocking her unconscious in a hotel elevator.
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