(SEATTLE) — Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon has been accused of sexual harassment and battery in a lawsuit, ESPN reports, and will take a leave of absence from his job as an analyst on Seattle Seahawks radio broadcasts.
The Seahawks said in a statement on Wednesday that they had accepted Moon’s request for a leave of absence. The statement did not give a reason for Moon’s request.
The lawsuit, filed in Orange County Superior Court in California on Monday, accuses Moon of making “unwanted and unsolicited” sexual advances towards a female employee of his sports marketing firm. The employee, Wendy Haskell, told The Washington Post through an attorney that she wishes to have her name made public.
On Thursday, Moon’s attorney, Daniel Fears, said his client “contends these claims are meritless, and he has every intention to vigorously defend himself in court.”
According to the lawsuit, Haskell says Moon demanded she submit to “a variety of unnerving sexual and perverse controlling arrangements,” including forcing her to sleep in the same bed as him on business trips and wearing skimpy lingerie. She also accuses Moon of drugging her drink without consent during a business trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
In 1995, a Minnesota Vikings cheerleader accused Moon of offering her cash for sex, while he was a Vikings player. That case was settled out of court.
He was arrested later in 1995 after his wife told police that he had struck her and choked her. The case went to trial, where Moon was acquitted when his wife testified that she had initiated the violence. The couple later divorced.
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