Washington Football Team and Beth Wilkinson at odds over unveiling details in past sexual harassment lawsuit

Chris Cwik
·2-min read

The Washington Football Team and attorney Beth Wilkinson are at odds over Wilkinson wanting to unveil details in a past sexual harassment lawsuit filed against the team, according to Pro Football Talk and Law360.com.

Wilkinson — who was hired by team owner Dan Snyder to investigate the team's culture — reportedly wants to unveil previously confidential information from a past sexual harassment lawsuit, according to Law360.com. Wilkinson is trying to move up a hearing on the subject. The team believes Wilkinson is doing that to leak damaging information about the team.

Wilkinson said she is trying to move up the hearing because she has another trial set for June 2, the day the Washington hearing was originally supposed to take place. Wilkinson also believes the confidential information in the lawsuit will be helpful for her investigation, and that the fight over making the information public has dragged on too long.

The Washington Football Team believes Wilkinson's attorney threatened to leak sensitive information about the team in an email. In that email, Wilkinson's attorney says "any hearing on this [issue] could be a disaster for” the team." Wilkinson explained the email was not meant as a threat, and that if the Team continues to fight the issue, the court is going to look harder for additional material that should be unredacted.

It's believed Wilkinson wants information from a 2009 sexual harassment lawsuit in which the Team allegedly paid $1.6 million to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit against Snyder, according to the Washington Post.

NFL will let Beth Wilkinson run investigation

The NFL drew criticism last August after it said it wouldn't hire an independent investigator to look into Washington's alleged misconduct. Instead, the league said it would rely on Wilkinson's investigation into the situation.

Given that Wilkinson is being paid by Snyder, some wondered whether the NFL not hiring an additional investigator was a good idea. While Wilkinson's full report hasn't been filed yet, her fight to get that 2009 lawsuit unredacted indicates she's not going to go easy on the Team despite being hired by Snyder.

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