Washington football team owner Dan Snyder claimed he is the victim of an extortion campaign by one of the franchise’s minority owners, according to a court that filed Wednesday in Maryland.
Snyder filed the application a day after a Washington Post story reported further details of a $ 1.6 million settlement that the franchise paid to a former employee due to a 2009 sexual misconduct allegation.
Snyder filed a U.S. district court in Southern Maryland, saying one of the team’s minority partners, Dwight Schar, was trying to force him to sell the franchise.
“I am convinced that the plaintiffs’ movement and supplementary filing and the news articles they have generated are the latest in their efforts to blackmail me,” the filing stated.
The New York Times had reported on the settlement last weekend. Then, on Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that they had received a copy of the agreement and, citing an anonymous source, said it stemmed from an incident on Snyder’s plane while returning from the Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas.
In Snyder’s filing on Wednesday, he said: “The Post’s article contains several citations from the filing that erroneously give the misleading impression, based on the plaintiffs ‘position and status, that there was merit in the allegations of misconduct. The plaintiffs’ purpose in presenting their supplementary filing is now clear : to try to keep lubricating me in an attempt to get leverage in this business conflict. “
The New York Times had previously reported Sunday that two investigations in 2009 – by the team and an outside law firm – could not substantiate the woman’s claim. The newspaper reported that Snyder paid the sum to avoid negative publicity. Also in the settlement, Snyder or some other confessed to the offense.
Snyder’s pleading alleges no evidence of misconduct was found following an investigation by a law firm.
“Plaintiff Schar nevertheless threatened to reveal to discredit me and embarrass my family, but which the insurance company decided to settle,” Snyder said according to filing.
In two stories this summer, Posten reported that a total of 40 women had said they were sexually harassed while employed in the franchise. Outlet also reported that there were “creepy videos produced by the team from outtakes of cheerleader calendar footage in 2008 and 2010.” Snyder has said he did not know about these videos.
The stories coincide with Snyder’s three minority partners, Schar, Fred Smith and Bob Rothman, who want to sell their shares. Together they own 40% of the team. Snyder has reportedly offered to buy the shares for $ 900 million. According to Forbes, the Washington franchise is valued at $ 3.5 billion; by a sale of the team, 40% would be worth $ 1.4 billion.
The NFL is conducting an independent investigation into the allegations in the Post articles. On Tuesday, the league announced that former U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch would participate in the investigation, focusing on Shar’s alleged role in leaking information.
Snyder has in previous archiving claimed that Schar was behind some of the negative information that was included in articles. On Wednesday, his filing stated that “Dwight Schar has pulled information about me and the team to Mary Ellen Blair, a former executive assistant on the team to be delivered to The Washington Post.”
According to Snyder, Blair made a statement that Schar asked her to share information with the Washington Post. His filing claimed that Schars ‘daughter bought Blair a “burner phone” to “try to escape the disclosure of Mr. Schars’ conspiratorial communications.” He quoted “numerous calls” from this phone to Shar’s cell phone number.
Snyder said there have been repeated threats from Schar and others associated with him over the past five months. Snyder said Schar threatened “my personal lawyer” in a conversation on July 25.
Snyder claimed that Schar told his lawyer that information would come out if he did not sell the team that the story “will kill Dan”; and that I “will suffer a terrible existence.”
A text from the minority owners’ investment banker, John Moag, suggested what might come out if Snyder did not cooperate. “And you know it has nothing to do with the media — … it’s the more serious s–. If you want an s — show, we’re doing it too.”
Moag has confirmed to other outlets that the text was correct.
On January 7, there will be a virtual hearing for U.S. District Judge Peter Messitte on each side claiming the other is leaking information to the media. According to the Post, Snyder, Schar, Rothman and Smith must all perform. Snyder denied in his submission that he has been the source of confidential information.
“I’m fighting on several fronts for interests that extend beyond just me, including to the team I love, as well as my family,” Snyder said in the filing, “and may swear to this court that the allegations I made leaked information to the press is false. “