Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
The Dallas Cowboys paid four cheerleaders a total settlement of $2.4 million after former senior vice president for public relations and communications Richard Dalrymple allegedly recorded them while they undressed in 2015.
Each of the cheerleaders received $399,523.27, according to a report by ESPN’s Don Van Natta Jr., with the rest of the money being paid to legal teams.
The women said they caught Dalrymple trying to secretly record them using an iPhone after sneaking into their locker room using a security key card. A fan also accused Dalrymple, who retired from the organization in February, of taking lewd photos of Charlotte Jones Anderson, the daughter of team owner Jerry Jones.
Dalrymple denied the allegations in a statement.
“People who know me, co-workers, the media and colleagues, know who I am and what I’m about,” Dalrymple said. “I understand the very serious nature of these claims and do not take them lightly. The accusations are, however, false. One was accidental and the other simply did not happen. Everything that was alleged was thoroughly investigated years ago, and I cooperated fully .”
The Cowboys said they investigated the allegations and found no evidence of wrongdoing by Dalrymple, who was with the organization for 32 years. The team did, however, serve Dalrymple with a “written warning,” according to Van Natta.
“If any wrongdoing had been found, Rich would have been terminated immediately,” Jim Wilkinson, a communications consultant hired by the Cowboys, told ESPN. “Everyone involved felt just terrible about this unfortunate incident.”
The ESPN report indicated Dalrymple’s retirement came in the weeks after reporters asking questions about the settlement, which was agreed to in May 2016 and includes a nondisclosure agreement for the women. Dalrymple said the impending report “had nothing to do with my retirement from her.”
A former cheerleader who was not involved with the lawsuit said the incident became an open secret internally, but the team “just made it go away.”
According to the report, the team forensically examined Dalrymple’s team-issued phone and found no evidence of pictures being taken. He told investigators that he did not own a personal phone. Jason Cohen, the Cowboys’ general counsel, said Dalrymple did not deny being in the locker room but said he believed it was empty and entered to use the restroom.
The women were “incredulous” at Dalrymple’s denial, with one saying they saw him with an iPhone out recording them.
“It was a ‘he said, she said’—and the team chose to believe Dalrymple’s side of things,” a source told ESPN. “But four women swore this happened.”
After it became clear the Cowboys had no plans to reprimand Dalrymple, the women hired an attorney. They later went into settlement negotiations with the team, keeping the incident quiet while they continued to be employed as cheerleaders.
None of the women are currently employed with the team.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism