(CN) – Former pro quarterback and radio commentator Sean Salisbury claims Gawker Media defamed him by posting stories that he had showed women photos of his penis on his cell phone, and was fired for similar “hijinks.” Salisbury claims Gawker subsidiary Deadspin.com posted several stories with the defamatory accusations.
In his complaint in Denton County Court, in Denton, Texas, Salisbury claims Deadspin “has spread malicious lies” about him since early 2007 “as part of a concerted effort to destroy Mr. Salisbury’s reputation and inflict as much financial harm and mental anguish on Mr. Salisbury as possible.”
He claims Deadspin posted numerous stories in 2007 that falsely reported that he “‘took a picture of his penis with his cellphone, and then showed it to women around his office.'”
Salisbury claims Deadspin repeated the libel in September this year after his “departure from Dallas sports radio station 105.3 The Fan. IN a post entitled ‘Sean Salisbury Fired From Radio Station, Allegedly for More Cellphone Hijinks,’ Deadspin falsely stated: ‘According to one source close to the station, Salisbury ‘freaked out a station promo girl after sexting her.'”
He claims Deadspin repeated the libel the next day, stating “that Mr. Salisbury was ‘fired’ from The Fan ‘allegedly for more cellphone/dong photo hijinks.'”
Salisbury adds: “These statements are false. No such ‘allegations’ exist. That Deadspin knew its statements were false at the time cannot be seriously disputed.”
Salisbury says the libels have made it difficult or impossible to find work.
Salisbury played for USC and then with the Seattle Seahawks, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, San Diego Charges and Houston Oilers, and in the Canadian Football League.
He seeks punitive damages. He is represented by Jeffrey Tillotson with Lynn Tillotson Pinker & Cox of Dallas.