December 7, 2017 at 12:39 PM
Pro Football 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 leads, according to a statement released by a lawyer representing him.
The lawsuit, filed Monday by Moon's executive assistant at Sports 1 Marketing, alleged 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 Thursday. "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.
Moon hired Haskell, 32, in July. She frequently traveled 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. The suit also accuses Moon of pulling off the woman's bathing suit after slipping a drug into her drink during a 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.
Diana L. Fitzgerald of Miami, Haskell's lawyer, said Thursday that Moon was in the process of being served with the suit.
"Based on the evidence we have, we're very confident in the merits of our case," Fitzgerald said. "I look forward to seeing Mr. Moon and Sports 1 Marketing in court."
Moon retired after a 17-year NFL career in 2001 as one of the most prolific passers in league history. Though he won the 1989 Walter Payton Man of the Year award for his charity and on-field excellence, his career was pockmarked with scandals involving women.
In May 1995, a Vikings cheerleader sued Moon and accused him of sexual harassment, alleging he offered her cash for sex. The case was settled out of court within days.
That July, 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 that 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 he was acquitted after his wife testified she provoked the scuffle. The couple divorced in 2001.
Moon co-founded Sports 1 Marketing in 2010 and is its president.
Haskell declined to comment through Fitzgerald . The Washington Post does not typically name alleged victims of sexual assault, but Fitzgerald said her client had agreed to go public.