COLUMBIA, S.C. AP Federal lawsuits have been set forth and has hired a high-powered libel attorney to investigate the case.
Varsity Spirit has been named as a defendant in multiple lawsuits filed in three states by civil rights attorney Bakari Sellers and attorneys from the Strom law firm; The lawsuits allege widespread sexual abuse of cheerleaders by coaches at various gyms in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
The lawsuits allege that those in charge of Varsity Spirit — as the dominant provider of cheer competitions and camps — failed to provide a safe environment. The coaches were not employed by Varsity Spirit, but according to the lawsuits, some of the alleged abuse occurred at varsity-selected hotels while teams were competing in varsity competitions. The lawsuits allege that Varsity has not implemented or enforced procedures to protect athletes from drugs, alcohol and abuse.
The company denies these allegations and blames the individual gyms and trainers named in the lawsuits.
Varsity Spirit and attorneys representing the victims also disagreed about the strength of the connection between Varsity Spirit and the gyms where the trainers worked. For example, the lawsuits say gyms pay annual or monthly fees to Varsity, while Varsity says gyms don’t pay annual or monthly fees but did pay to compete and wear certain clothing.
The cheerleading powerhouse retained Thomas Clare, who made a name for himself as co-counsel for Dominion Voting Systems, which has accused Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani – allies of former President Donald Trump – of defamation for falsely claiming the election was was stolen.
In a Tuesday letter to Sellers and his firm, which Varsity Spirit also shared with the AP, Clare said the law firm had made “manifestly false” claims about Varsity Spirit, amounting to “sham litigation.”
“As Varsity Spirit has previously and repeatedly stated, its primary concern is for the survivors and their safety, and Varsity Spirit wholeheartedly supports the survivors in their pursuit of justice against those responsible,” Clare wrote. “The fact that courageous men and women have come forward to make specific allegations of abuse against individual trainers and others employed and supervised by facility owners does not give you permission to make patently false public claims about varsity spirit…”
In particular, Varsity Spirit has challenged a recent court filing in which Sellers alleged that the company “served as a key player in a plan to host exploitative events that exposed underage athletes while under the influence of drugs and alcohol to sexual abuse and assault.” “. Clare also challenged another allegation in the court filing that Varsity Spirit’s environment “promoting free access to underage minors for the purpose of sexual solicitation was the method used by the Defendants to recruit new studio owners, coaches, choreographers, videographers and others.” related staff recruited. ”
“What information, evidence or factual basis might you have to support this apparently untenable claim regarding Varsity Spirit? We urge you to immediately provide us with any information you have — and also to make that evidence public,” Clare wrote in the letter.
In a statement to The Associated Press, Sellers said the legal team encourages survivors of cheerleading sexual abuse to continue sharing their experiences.
“We are committed to our customers and are actively pursuing these cases and take our responsibilities to customers and the court very seriously,” Sellers said. “We hope this does not result in those who have suffered abuse being discouraged from coming forward.”
According to Tom Becker, who works with a consulting firm that assists the cheerleading company with media inquiries, Varsity Spirit hosts 400 competitions each year and 300,000 athletes attend the company’s camps annually.
News of the alleged abuse first broke in early September when attorneys for Strom Law filed their first federal lawsuit accusing several Greenville, South Carolina cheerleading coaches, including one who recently died by suicide, of at least six boys and having sexually abused girls. Over the next two months, six more coaches were named and three other survivors of the alleged abuse came forward in the case. The attorneys also filed federal complaints on behalf of teen survivors of sex abuse by cheer coaches at gyms in Memphis, Tennessee, and Raleigh, North Carolina.
So far there have been no arrests in any of the cases. Attorneys for abuse survivors say federal agencies — who have asked not to be identified — are investigating the allegations. Officials have not indicated if they are involved.
Who started Varsity cheer?
|headquarters||Memphis, TN, USA|
|key people||Bill Seely (President)|
Who Owns Varsity Brands? Read also : Camille Kostek reflects on days as an NFL girl and Patriots cheerleader.
When was Varsity Spirit founded? Focused on safety, entertainment and traditional school leadership, Varsity Spirit’s 5,000 employees have been dedicated to celebrating school spirit through their brands since 1974.
How many employees does Varsity Brands have?
With more than 9,000 employees and channel partners, our reach extends across North America. On the same subject : Jessie Bates III INT | Week 9 Bengals Highlights vs Carolina Panthers.
How much is Varsity Spirit worth? The deal is valued at about $2.5 billion, according to CNBC sources. Varsity Brands has three divisions: team sports equipment and apparel, cheerleading uniforms and competitions; and Herff Jones college rings and graduation products.
Who is the CEO of Varsity Brands? Varsity Brands’ leadership team is rated “D” and is led by CEO Adam Blumenfeld. Varsity Brands employees rank their leadership team of 5,001-10,000 employees in the bottom 25% of similarly sized companies. Last updated 2 months ago.