Warren Moon built a Hall of Fame career as a top NFL quarterback. For 17 seasons, he was a gunslinger who always put up massive numbers, even on sometimes mediocre teams. That was a long time ago, though. These days, Moon is the defendant in a lawsuit, accused of sexual harassment by a woman who used to work as his assistant at Moon’s sports marketing firm.
Wendy Haskell, the accuser, said Moon had made “unwanted and unsolicited” sexual advances toward her when she worked for Sports 1 Marketing. Moon is cofounder and president of that company.
Recently, Moon’s attorney, Daniel Fears, offered this statement denying the claims leveled against his client: “Mr. Moon contends these claims are meritless, and he has every intention to vigorously defend himself in court…”
Despite his plans to vigorously defend himself, Moon has already had to make some shifts due to the claims. He recently took a leave of absence from his job as a radio commentator for the Seattle Seahawks, because his work is likely to be “impacted as he defends himself…”
The Associated Press reported that the text of the lawsuit included the following: Haskell was hired as the executive assistant to Moon last summer. In addition, the suit alleges Moon forced Haskell to sleep in the same bed with him on business trips, and that she was obliged to wear lingerie. Haskell says she complained, but nothing was done.
The lawsuit also contends that Moon drugged Haskell when the two were on a trip together to Mexico. The suit claims Moon admitted drugging Haskell so she would have more fun and that he repeatedly came into the bathroom while she was in the shower.
Haskell alleges that she took her complaints all the way to the top, to Sports 1 Marketing CEO David Meltzer, but, she says, the company failed to complete any investigation. Subsequent to her complaints, Haskell says she was demoted.
Due to Moon’s fame and football prowess, the lawsuit gained serious traction in the press. Haskell’s attorney, Diane Fitzgerald, told members of the press, then decided to go public with the complaints: “(Wendy) was expecting to further her career in the sports marketing industry… She had no idea that her job duties were going to involve that kind of perverse protocol.”
While the lawsuit claims Moon admitted to many different actions, Moon and his team have not done so publicly, and plan to fight the case. Given the now-public nature of the lawsuit, the facts should be clear soon.
Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of the New York based public relations firm 5WPR: one of the 20 largest PR Firms in the United States.