Rockstar Cheer Escalation: Amended Federal Lawsuit Adds More…

Two weeks after filing their original complaint related to the fast-growing Rockstar Cheer scandal, attorneys with the Columbia, South Carolina-based Strom law firm have filed an amended brief in U.S. District Court in Greenville, S.C. – a document that significantly expands the scope. of this still ongoing scandal.

The latest trial in this high-profile case — filed Thursday night — included new unnamed plaintiffs and a slew of new named defendants. If also added a significant new wrinkle to the alleged corporate corruption that attorneys argue has largely led to sexual abuse in the cheerleading industry in the United States for years.

Specifically, the updated file (.pdf) accused the growing list of Rockstar-affiliated defendants of participating in “a civil conspiracy in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act.

That’s right… this is officially a RICO case, which means that in addition to the allegations against several defendants accused of sexually abusing several underage male and female cheerleaders, lawyers now believe they can prove the existence of a “criminal enterprise” in which defendants are cooperatively engaged in “a pattern of racketeering activity.”

“We wouldn’t have filed it if we didn’t think we could prove it,” attorney Jessica Fickling told me Thursday.

And again, all this is just the beginning of this story…

According to Strom Law attorney Bakari Sellers (above), additional lawsuits stemming from the Rockstar Cheer scandal are headed to federal courthouses in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee and Maryland.

Civil suits have also been filed at the state level … and more are on the way, according to lawyers familiar with the scandal.

In addition to these civil lawsuits, there is an ongoing criminal investigation into Foster, Rockstar Cheer and other alleged abusers led by the US Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Special Investigations Unit (HSI) – with support from the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office. According to my law enforcement sources, additional investigative resources in the state of South Carolina will likely be brought to bear on this investigation very soon.

There are also law enforcement agencies in several other states assisting the broader HSI investigation, according to my federal law enforcement sources.

Scott Foster’s Suicide Opened The Floodgates …

The HSI probe had been ongoing for about six weeks when Rockstar gym owner and founder Scott Foster (above) died by suicide at Paris Mountain State Park just north of Greenville, S. This may interest you : Arrival Style: The Broncos’ Best Pre-Game Fashion Before Taking….C. on 22 August 2022.

The day after his death, this news outlet first reported that the 49-year-old Greenville, S.C. businessman was staring down “a multi-jurisdictional investigation into (among other things) allegations of sexual assault with underage girls.”

However, Foster and others in this industry did not just target underage girls. Several plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit are young men who were allegedly abused as they tried to advance in the increasingly competitive cheerleading industry.

Filed Thursday afternoon (Sept. 15, 2022), the amended federal complaint represents a major expansion of the lawsuit filed two weeks ago — naming several additional defendants and elaborating on their alleged conduct.

“The amended lawsuit details the sickening abuse of multiple coaches and includes multiple instances where athletes were transported across state lines and abused at events sanctioned by Varsity Spirit and USASF, both of which have ignored repeated calls to launch a comprehensive investigation into their competitive environment, and how this abuse could have occurred,” a statement accompanying the post reads.

The original complaint named the estate after Scott Foster, Rockstar Cheer, Foster’s widow Kathy Foster and three affiliates of Varsity, a Tennessee-based company that has made billions of dollars selling cheerleading apparel and organizing cheerleading and dance camps/competitions across the country. the country. Specifically, it listed Varsity Brands LLC, Varsity Spirit LLC and Varsity Brands Holding Company, Inc. – as the defendant.

In the updated lawsuit, Varsity founder Jeff Webb is also named as a defendant.

Indeed, the new suit alleged that Webb was “in the forefront of the design and execution of the alleged illegal conspiracy,” which was described in lurid detail within its pages.

The original lawsuit also named Bain Capital — the Boston-based investment firm co-founded by U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney — as a defendant. Bain bought Varsity in 2018 for an estimated $2.8 billion from Charlesbank Capital Partners, another defendant named in the initial version of the lawsuit.

The first version of the lawsuit also named the U.S. All Star Federation (USASF) – a nonprofit entity ostensibly responsible for implementing “fair and consistent rules and competition standards” in the cheer industry and “providing the safest possible environment for cheer and dance athletes to train and compete .”

In the updated filing, another so-called regulatory agency — the USA Federation of Sport Cheering (aka USA Cheer) — is added as a defendant. USA Cheer bills itself as the “national governing body” for cheerleading and “exists to serve the cheer community.” It lists its primary goal as “promoting safety and security education for cheer in the United States.”

However, both of these nonprofits have long been accused of being “nothing more than fronts for the corporate entities that benefit from their lax oversight—both financially and in terms of the widespread sexual exploitation of minors.”

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New Alleged Abusers …

The updated lawsuit also named several cheerleading coaches associated with Foster as defendants — accusing them of engaging in the sexual abuse of both male and female underage cheerleaders. This may interest you : He called his girlfriend disgusting when she caught him crying….

One of those coaches, Kenny Feeley — a Foster protégé — is accused of raping an unnamed female plaintiff.

According to the lawsuit, Feeley “climbed into bed with (the minor female) and groped and fondled her and digitally penetrated her” on one occasion. On another occasion — after Foster arranged for the same underage cheerleader to receive a “private lesson” from Feeley — he allegedly “gave her alcohol and marijuana” before transporting her to a secondary location “where he raped her, ” according to the lawsuit.

In addition to the specific allegations against him contained in the lawsuit, multiple cheer industry sources have told us that Feeley (above) is referred to by many cheerleaders as “Touchy Feeley,” a reference to his alleged habit of excessive handiness.

Foster and Feeley both graduated from the University of Louisville, where they were cheerleaders. They also both worked out at Carolina All Stars, another Greenville-based gym.

According to the lawsuit, Foster was aware of the alleged rape and would even “comment on (it)” while the underage female cheerleader on the receiving end of the alleged sexual assault was working out at the gym.

Foster allegedly “did nothing to report the rape,” the lawsuit claimed.

Feeley remains active in the cheer industry as the founder and owner of Spring CDT, a US-based international instructional cheerleading company that focuses on scholastic, collegiate and all-star cheerleading.

Like Foster’s Rockstar gym did, Feeley’s “cheer empire … provides defendant Varsity with significant revenue streams in the form of athletes, competition fees, uniforms, merchandise and other fees,” according to the lawsuit.

In addition to Feeley, the lawsuit named former Rockstar trainers Nathan Alan Plank, Josh Guyton, Christopher Hinton, Traevon Black and Peter Holley as defendants.

According to the lawsuit, Plank (above) would “frequently grope and touch” one of the underage female cheerleaders at Rockstar. He also sent her unsolicited “nude photos of himself” and “videos of himself masturbating.”

The underage female cheerleader was “only thirteen years old at the time (Plank) sent the photos and videos,” the lawsuit noted.

The same underage cheerleader — identified only as “Jane Doe 7” — was also forced to perform oral sex on Hinton when she was just fourteen years old, according to the lawsuit.

The girl initially did not report either incident because she was “concerned that trainers at Rockstar would target (her) younger sister, who was also an athlete” at the facility. However, she eventually told her mother, who reported the alleged abuse to the Greenville Sheriff’s Office, USASF and Varsity.

According to the lawsuit, those complaints were “dismissed as an attempt to manipulate her daughter’s position on the cheer team and in the gym.” In fact, the girl’s mother was reportedly informed that if she didn’t like “what she saw or experienced at Rockstar, she could ‘find another gym.’

“Imagine the courage it takes for a rape survivor to report her abuse,” Fickling said. “And how did Varsity Spirit and USASF reward that courage? They fired her, called her a liar, and told her to find another gym. To the defendants, the almighty dollar was far more valuable than the future of these athletes.”

Of interest? Of the alleged abusers named in the lawsuit, only one — Christopher Hinton — was listed on USA Cheer/USASF’s ineligible list at the time the amended lawsuit was filed.

“We’re talking about serious repeated abuse that was reported to everyone, including the Greenville County sheriff’s department,” Sellers added. “To Varsity Spirit, USASF and Bain Capital, these survivors didn’t matter. Their checks did. They did nothing to stop this abuse then, and they’re doing nothing now.”

Industry experts agreed with this assessment and singled out Varsity for its leading role in facilitating this “abuse factory.”

“Varsity created a cult-like toxic environment that for decades exploited child athletes for their profit and gain while leaving a trail of mentally, physically and sexually abused children in their wake,” said Kimberly Archie, founder of the National Cheer Safety Foundation .

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Raising The Stakes Of The Alleged Conspiracy …

In addition to providing graphic, “stomach-turning” details of the alleged abuse that took place within the Rockstar program — and naming new defendants tied to the gym — the amended version of the federal complaint upped the ante on the alleged conspiratorial acts committed by all the named defendants. To see also : Eagles star players visit the West Philadelphia Panthers youth football team and cheerleaders.

Alleging a civil RICO conspiracy, the Strom attorneys collectively accused the defendants of acting and associating together “for the common purpose of recklessly, willfully and intentionally endangering the plaintiffs as minor athletes by subjecting them to unlawful sexual abuse and exploitation of children while assuring their parents they were particularly safe to take their money.”

As for the two financial institutions, the lawsuit alleged that they “agreed to facilitate this business by financing its ongoing operations in order to obtain financial benefit from its revenues.”

Specifically, the suit accused the defendants of “engaging in misleading and deceptive communications to children and their families that they knew or should have known posed a danger to children who were unable to detect the danger when the defendants concealed the danger and failed to report it and act in callous indifference to the children’s safety in the name of growing profits.”

“(Defendants) acted in concert to commit predicate acts of child sexual exploitation, kidnapping, trafficking in obscene material involving minors, mail fraud and Internet fraud,” the suit states.

“We’re looking at abuse going back two decades or more across this nation,” Strom attorney Ally Benevento said. “It is impossible that Varsity Spirit, USASF and Bain Capital did not know this was happening. We want to give safety back to these athletes and make sure this never happens again.”

This news outlet is also committed to holding those accused of these crimes accountable for their actions. After breaking this story into the open last month, our intrepid researcher – Jenn Wood – led a deep dive into Foster, Rockstar, USASF, Varsity and the wider cheer community. She also hosts FITSNews’ podcast Cheer Incorporated (listen on Apple or Spotify), which is dedicated to amplifying our coverage of the scandal.

Anyone willing to share information related to this saga is encouraged to contact Wood at or use our tip line. However you decide to contact us, this news outlet honors requests for anonymity regarding submissions.

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Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as Press Secretary to the Governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.


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How many years was Gabi Butler at Navarro?

How many years can you cheer for Navarro? Navarro cheer team members can spend three of their five years of NCA eligibility competing for junior college. The Season 1 stars who stuck with the program (and with coach Monica Aldama) are Gabi Butler, La’Darius Marshall, Lexi Brumback and Morgan Simianer.

When did Gabi Butler leave Navarro? After Cheer season two, Gabi Butler left Navarro to attend Weber State University based in Utah.

What happened to Scott Foster Rockstar Cheer?

Scott Foster, 49, the founder of Rockstar Cheer, died by suicide on August 22. A week later, his property and gym were hit with two lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct.

Was Scott Foster from Rockstar Cheer Married? He married his wife, Kathy Foster, in 2001, and the two started a cheer company called the World Spirit Federation.

What are the allegations against Scott Foster? The lawsuits allege that Scott Foster allegedly sexually abused athletes at Rockstar Cheer and at competitions while a member of certain national cheer organizations. Reckenbeil says the plaintiffs will have to prove whether those organizations had notice of the alleged abuse and failed to act.

What happened to the Rockstar Cheer team? On Wednesday morning, Foster’s wife, Kathy Foster, released the following statement: Last night I announced that Rockstar Cheerleading and Dance is closing its doors indefinitely. Although this was a difficult decision, I believe it is the best solution under the circumstances.

What are the allegations against Rockstar Cheer Scott?

Scott Foster’s estate, represented by his widow, Kathy Foster, denied all allegations of misconduct in the lawsuits Monday, including allegations that Foster sexually abused athletes and facilitated a culture of drug and alcohol abuse among minors at Rockstar.

Who is the owner of Rockstar Cheer? The following year, the Fosters founded Rockstar Cheer. “We knew there could be a competitive cheerleading gym that could train athletes to be the best they could be while teaching them values, work ethic and life lessons,” Scott Foster wrote on the gym’s website.

What happened to Rockstar Greenville? The 49-year-old faced a federal investigation into allegations that he “sexually assaulted his minor athletes,” according to the latest complaints. His wife, Kathy Foster, then closed Rockstar indefinitely in September.

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