SANTA ANA, Calif. (CN) – A female employee of National Football League Hall of Famer Warren Moon’s sports marketing company says Moon made her sleep with him in the same bed during business trips, arranged her wardrobe, and sexually harassed her with continued advances.
The complaint was filed on Monday by attorneys for Wendy Haskell, but was withheld by the clerk until Tuesday. Haskell is represented by Diana Fitzgerald and David Isaacson of Fitzgerald & Isaacson in Florida and California.
Haskell says she worked for Moon’s Sports 1 Marketing as an executive assistant to Moon, who is a co-owner and president of the company. According to her lawsuit, she started working for Moon this past July, and her job duties included securing sponsorship deals, handling appointments for Moon, communications and other tasks related to Moon’s general public appearance.
But Haskell says Moon “began his inappropriate sexual advances and misconduct toward Ms. Haskell requiring her to adhere to a demeaning and degrading protocol replete with sexual innuendo, overtone and perverted acts” on their first business trip to Las Vegas.
When Haskell complained about job “duties” like wearing skimpy lingerie while in a shared room on a business trip, or letting Moon in the bathroom every time she showered, she says he told her this was “just the way it is” and threatened her.
Haskell says in her lawsuit that Moon also threatened to fire her if she was not comfortable with him. He also required her to provide text messages of her wardrobe so he could approve of what she could wear to frequent public appearances according to the complaint.
When she requested he stop his advances he escalated his aggressive “sex-charged conduct toward her,” Haskell says in the complaint.
“On a business trip in Seattle, for example, Moon grabbed Ms. Haskell’s crotch while she was sleeping. Startled out of her sleep, Ms. Haskell managed to push Moon’s hand away from her genitalia and said ‘No!’ But, she had to endure the remainder of the night with him sleeping with his hand on her buttocks,” Haskell says in the complaint.
After a business dinner in October, Moon dropped Haskell off at her home but made a sexual advance, according to the complaint. She rejected him and he was so enraged that the next morning he sent her an email saying he would “find someone who doesn’t have inhibitions about this job,” she says in her complaint.
Haskell says she reported Moon’s sexual harassment to the company’s CEO David Meltzer, who did nothing to address the situation or correct Moon’s behavior. Instead, he told her to accompany Moon on a trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
While on that trip, Haskell says Moon slipped something into her drink, likely a drug, because he thought she was not "having any fun."
Haskell says she was demoted after the trip. According to her lawsuit, she was then presented with a new contract agreement, a handbook and a nondisclosure agreement that would sweep away Moon's behavior which she says she did not sign.
The complaint seeks damages on claims of sexual harassment in violation of Fair Employment and Housing Act, sexual harassment in a hostile work environment, discrimination based on sex in violation of Fair Employment and Housing Act, failure to prevent discrimination and harassment, retaliation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent retention and supervision, sexual battery and battery.
Haskell’s complaint comes at a time when women across the nation are speaking up about sexual harassment in the workplace, from Hollywood to the halls of Congress, to varying results.
Sexual harassment and assault claims brought down Hollywood heavyweights like megaproducer Harvey Weinstein and actor Kevin Spacey, and contributed to Tuesday’s announcement that the longest-serving person in Congress Rep. John Conyers would step down.
Such claims had little effect on then-candidate Donald Trump’s campaign, however, and appear to have done little to sway Alabama voters into voting for someone other the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Roy Moore.