A prominent South Carolina cheerleading coach who killed himself last month sexually abused sportsmen and women and presided over a culture that allowed staff to commit sexual assaults, even as a well-known private equity firm allegedly pulled profit from the chaos, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday.
The lawsuit filed Thursday in the District of South Carolina in Greenville alleges Scott Foster, 49, sexually abused, exploited and transported underage athletes across state lines for years. The lawsuit goes on to detail the horrific claims made by four Jane Does and two John Does, and is filed on behalf of 95 other Jane Does. While none of the alleged victims have been identified, the lawsuit says they live around the country and vary in age.
All of the unnamed victims were “minors at the time they were sexually abused and assaulted, sexually exploited, transported across state lines for illegal sexual activity,” the lawsuit states.
The allegations detailed in the lawsuit include claims that Foster used drugs with his athletes in a “Rockstar House” apartment that he paid for, coerced at least two underage athletes into having sex and forcefully kissed at least one entertainer in the stairwell of a hotel.
At least one other coach is accused of rape.
The explosive allegations are just the latest in a series of claims against Foster, who had established a nationally recognized cheerleading organization that had licensing agreements with dozens of other gyms across the country before his death last month past
The Greenville County Coroner’s Office told The Daily Beast that Scott Foster took his own life on Aug. 22 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was found around 12:30 p.m. in his car in the Paris Mountain State Park parking lot, about 20 minutes from Rockstar Cheer Greenville.
The lawsuit alleges Foster recently learned he was the subject of a Department of Homeland Security investigation related to allegations he sexually abused underage athletes, including taking them across state lines to end the abuse. A spokesman for Homeland Security Investigations told The Daily Beast that he “could not confirm or deny” an investigation into Foster because the department does not comment on an ongoing investigation.
In addition to naming Foster and his ex-wife, Kathy Foster, the lawsuit also names Varsity Spirit and its associated brands, U.S. All Star Federation, Charlesbank Capital Partners, Bain Capital, Rockstar Cheer & Dansa, and other unknown defendants.
In a statement Wednesday to The Daily Beast, Foster’s ex-wife stressed that she was “heartbroken by the recent allegations made by current and former athletes from Rockstar Cheer and other cheer gyms in our community.”
“I hope survivors seek and receive the support they need. I sympathize with their stories and will cooperate with all involved to ensure our athletes learn and grow in a safe environment,” added Kathy Foster. “At this time, I am focusing on providing the necessary support to my children as they come to terms with the loss of their father.”
She could not immediately be reached for comment on the lawsuit filed Thursday.
According to Rockstar Cheer, Greenville’s website, Foster opened the gym in 2007 after working as a cheer coach for another organization. The site said he first started cheering while attending the University of Louisville, where he joined the team and majored in criminal justice.
Foster said that while he had hopes of becoming an FBI agent, he turned to training instead, and the site portrayed his work as an innocent, earnest passion.
“I was fully prepared to join the FBI when I completed my master’s degree, but life threw her [sic] curveball and competitive animation presented itself as a possible career,” he told the site your gym’s website. “I knew I could excel as an FBI agent; but I wanted a career doing something I enjoyed every day.”
The lawsuit alleges that at a 2019 National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) tournament, Foster sexually assaulted John Doe 1 when he was 16 years old.
John Doe 2 moved to Greenville in 2014 and joined Rockstar Cheer. The lawsuit claims that “almost immediately,” he was subjected to “inappropriate and vulgar comments” by male coaches. When he was 16, John Doe 2 was allegedly pressured to send nude photos to two Rockstar coaches and visit the “Rockstar house,” an apartment paid for by the Fosters to house athletes.
The lawsuit says the home was used by athletes and coaches to host parties, use drugs and drink alcohol with minors. During a visit to the apartment, John Doe 2 was allegedly sexually assaulted by a trainer, an incident the suit says the Fosters knew about.
The lawsuit says that for Jane Doe 2, her encounters with Foster began in 2019, when she was about 16 years old. Foster “began touching her inappropriately almost immediately” after joining Rockstar Cheer in Greenville, the suit says. Soon after, according to the lawsuit, Foster began inviting Jane Doe 2 to his home, where she eventually spent the night twice, and each time there was a lot of “drugs and alcohol.”
The lawsuit alleges that one of Jane Doe 3’s coaches “touched and fondled her, [and] digitally penetrated her” while she was traveling for a competition. This same trainer allegedly took Jane Doe 3 to his apartment, drugged her with alcohol and marijuana, and eventually raped her.
In December 2019, Foster allegedly forcefully kissed Jane Doe 4 while participating in a cheer competition on the stairs of her hotel. According to the lawsuit, the kiss was followed by Foster and Jane Doe 4, who was 18 at the time, seeing each other “several times a week,” interactions that allegedly included drinking and sex. The encounters allegedly occurred across state lines during cheerleading competitions, largely because “Jane Doe 4 felt she could not deny” Foster’s sex or she would be “professionally punished.”
As for the companies, the suit alleged they knew or should have known at least the potential for abuse of young cheerleaders, even though they benefited from the system that allowed it.
Rockstar Cheer & Dance Inc, Varsity Spirit, Charlesbank Capital Partners and Bain Capital did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment on Thursday’s lawsuit. The National Center for Security Initiatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday’s lawsuit.
In a letter Thursday to the “Varsity Spirit Family,” the organization’s president stressed that they “share the pain with the All-Star community during these difficult times.”
“These allegations are devastating to hear and our hearts are broken along with yours. We understand that these events are causing concern and raising questions,” President Bill Seely wrote in the letter. “Scott Foster is accused of abhorrent criminal and predatory conduct.”
The new lawsuit comes just two days after another Rockstar Cheer athlete filed a lawsuit accusing the coach of sexually assaulting her nearly a dozen times over the course of a year, plying her with alcohol and coerce her into sending nude photos via Snapchat.
“Foster used this position to coerce the children into giving in to his sexual suggestions, using his authority and position of trust to physically, sexually and emotionally exploit them,” the personal injury lawsuit filed Tuesday in Greenville County states.
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