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Some of the shocking allegations in the lawsuit filed against Dan Snyder, Roger Goodell and Washington Commanders

BOSTON -- Karl Racine, the attorney general for the District of Columbia, followed through on his promise of a major announcement on Thursday. Racine announced that the District had filed a lawsuit against Dan Snyder, Roger Goodell, the Washington Commanders and the National Football League.

The crux of the case is that the NFL's "independent" investigation into the workplace culture of the Washington Redskins/Football Team/Commanders was essentially one large cover-up that protected the interests of both Snyder and the league at large. Or, as the complaint itself states, the suit was filed for "public misrepresentations, omissions, and ambiguities of material fact, all of which violate the District of Columbia Consumer Protection Procedures Act (CPPA)."

The lawsuit states that after the NFL took over the investigation into the toxic culture within the Washington organization, the league and the team entered into a "Common Interest Agreement."

"[The] Common Interest Agreement (Agreement) that established their joint legal interest in upholding 'the integrity of the Investigation and the defense of reasonably anticipated litigation,'" the lawsuit stated. "It allowed the sharing of confidential information and communications and other privileged information both among themselves and with Wilkinson's firm. In addition, the Agreement granted the Team and Snyder the ability to block the release of any 'information or communications' that resulted from it, including what the public would ultimately learn about Wilkinson's findings. Moreover, the NFL entered this agreement with full knowledge of the allegations of pervasive sexual harassment and misconduct that had been attached to Snyder and the Team for years."

Sure enough, after the 10-month investigation from attorney Beth Wilkinson, the NFL did not release any public findings, instead opting to announce punishment for Snyder without publicizing any details from the investigation.

The full complaint is 45 pages long and available to read online. It's full of some eye-popping accusations -- some of which had been previously reported, some of which had not. Among them:

The lawsuit alleges that Dan Snyder propositioned a cheerleader to have sex with his friend.

"Another former Team cheerleader alleges that Snyder propositioned her to have sex with his friend at a 2004 party. At the time of the incident, the cheerleader reported Snyder's misconduct to the Team's cheerleader director and to the marketing director for the cheerleading squad. In turn, she was merely advised to avoid Snyder for the rest of the night. Because Snyder owned the Team, she did not feel there was anything more she could do about his comment, and she did not publicly report it until 2020."

The lawsuit alleges that Dan Snyder's response to a coach groping a female employee was telling that employee to avoid that coach.

"Likewise, when Snyder was told that a member of the coaching staff groped an employee, Snyder refused to do anything about it. Instead, he directed that the victim should 'stay away from the coach.'"

The lawsuit repeats a Washington Post report that team employees filmed cheerleaders in states of undress and created a video for Snyder set to a soundtrack of his favorite songs.

"When the calendar shoots were filmed, cameras were often kept continuously recording, despite cheerleaders' requests that certain portions not be filmed. Those videos often captured nudity, because the cheerleaders posed topless or nude, and the recordings captured the body painting process. This footage was often taken without the cheerleaders' awareness or consent. Afterwards, Snyder directed Team executives to have employees and contractors edit videos together using footage of the cheerleaders from the calendar shoots—including the footage the cheerleaders had specifically requested not be shot. Snyder mandated that these videos include the 'good bits,' which producers understood to mean unedited images of cheerleaders' exposed breasts and pubic areas. These voyeuristic videos were reportedly scored with Snyder's favorite songs and given directly to Snyder."

The lawsuit alleges that Snyder fired two cheerleaders after a case of sexual misconduct involving a player.

"In another episode, Snyder was informed of sexual misconduct between a player and two cheerleaders. In response, Snyder placed the blame on the victims, directing the firing of the cheerleaders to 'minimize distractions, temptations for players.' There were no consequences for the player."

The lawsuit alleges that Snyder bullied male employees if they did not partake in the workplace culture.

"As one example of Snyder's direct harassment of employees, Snyder bullied male employees and questioned their sexual orientation when they did not conform to Snyder's perception of manhood."

The lawsuit alleges that one employee felt comfortable engaging in sexual harassment because he was hired by Snyder.

"At least one such report of sexual harassment was emailed to Snyder and other executives directly by a female chef. She detailed an incident in which the Team's head chef, after noticing the female chef had changed clothes by her locker, said in front of other staff, 'I wish I knew, I would have followed you back there. Do you know the last time I had sex?' She specifically noted she was scared to report the incident because the head chef bragged he was untouchable because Snyder had hired him."

The lawsuit alleges that Snyder kept female employees in his vacation home basement while male employees/executives were upstairs with "sex workers."

"One such event occurred at Snyder's vacation home in Aspen, Colorado, in 2005 or 2006. After entertaining several employees at a nightclub, Snyder brought them back to his vacation home, and the female employees were escorted to the basement for the rest of the night while the male employees remained upstairs. At one point, Snyder came downstairs wearing only a bathrobe and offered the women champagne. That same night, one female employee went upstairs and saw a nude woman giving a massage to a male Team executive and saw another woman wearing only a bathrobe exiting Snyder's bedroom. The female employees did not know these women and believed they were sex workers. Because they had traveled on Snyder's plane out of state, despite their discomfort with the executives' behavior, these female employees felt trapped."

The lawsuit alleges that Daniel Snyder intimidated witnesses in the NFL's investigation into the team's workplace culture.

"Snyder and the Team sent private investigators to witness's homes and intimidated them, engaged in abusive litigation to prevent witness participation, and offered additional money to former employees who had previously settled claims against Snyder."

"Witnesses reported the PIs scared and discouraged them from participating in the Wilkinson Investigation or otherwise speaking publicly against Snyder, and they were afraid Snyder might find other ways to harm or intimidate them."

"One PI waited outside a witness's home for hours, showing up on multiple days, and also harassed her neighbors. When the witness ultimately spoke with the PI, he told her the Team sent him to speak with her. That witness subsequently reported being scared for her own safety and that of her children. Another witness said that she felt certain the PIs were sent by Snyder because they asked pointed questions about a former executive who Snyder had tried to blame for the misconduct."

The lawsuit alleges that Daniel Snyder offered financial payouts to prevent witnesses from participating in Wilkinson's investigation into the team's workplace culture.

"Snyder attempted to pay the witness who had alleged that Snyder had assaulted her in 2009 an additional, substantial sum, beyond the amount paid in the original settlement, to prevent her from discussing the incident with Wilkinson. Separately, Snyder offered financial settlements to another group of former employees who had accused Snyder and Team executives of harassment and misconduct. Snyder offered money to at least one employee in exchange for her silence in the investigation. Another said, 'It just felt like they wanted to bury this and shut us up.'"

The lawsuit alleges that the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell knew about but downplayed the impact of Daniel Snyder's interference in the investigation.

"The NFL was aware of Snyder's attempted interference with the investigation but allowed it to continue and downplayed its significance. Commissioner Goodell characterized Snyder's abusive litigation and use of private investigators as 'a little bit of tug and pull with particularly [sic] lawyers and law firms,' while publicly guaranteeing it did not interfere with Wilkinson's work."

"Even armed with the knowledge of Snyder's efforts to intimidate witnesses and attempt to obstruct the Wilkinson Investigation, the NFL did nothing to stop them. To the contrary, the NFL allowed Snyder to maintain complete control over the investigation for weeks and then entered into the Agreement with the Team for continued access, including access to information that would allow him to target additional witnesses."

The lawsuit alleges that when Roger Goodell said the league did not know about the details of the investigation while it was ongoing, he was not telling the truth.

"The NFL received its first briefing from the Wilkinson team before taking over the Investigation, in late August 2020. Throughout the Investigation, the Wilkinson firm regularly updated the NFL General Counsel's Office about their findings. Despite being read in, the NFL feigned ignorance. In February 2021, during a press conference, Goodell stated that Wilkinson was 'nearing the completion' of her work, but that he had not yet met her. He committed that when he received the results of her investigation, he would share them with the Team 'and others.'  By the end of February 2021, the NFL already had extensive, significant information about the Team's toxic culture, the widespread sexual harassment, and Snyder's role in all of it."

The lawsuit states that the NFL allowed Daniel Snyder to secure 100 percent ownership of the team before the Wilkinson investigation had been completed.

"With this background, and after the NFL pledged to 'take any action based on the findings' at the conclusion of the Wilkinson Investigation, the League demonstrated it had no intention of holding Snyder accountable. Instead, mere weeks after Goodell received his first of two oral briefings from Wilkinson, the NFL chose to make an exception to its rules related to the amount of debt a team owner may carry to allow Snyder to buy out three minority owners, giving him even more power and control around the League. Thus, rather than waiting for the outcome of the Wilkinson Investigation to ensure Snyder was fit to continue ownership of the Team, the NFL allowed Snyder and his family to consolidate 100% ownership of the team. When the Investigation did conclude, the Defendants worked together to keep consumers in the dark, under cover of their Agreement."

These allegations are just that -- allegations. But Racine expressed an eagerness to share evidence with the public when he spoke on Thursday.

"This lawsuit will continue, there will be accountability unless and until it is settled," Racine said. "And if it is settled, we're gonna tell you everything that we found."

Naturally, the NFL and the Commanders have both issued statements in response to the lawsuit.

"We agree with A.G. Racine on one thing: the public needs to know the truth," the Commanders' statement from counsel John Brownlee and Stuart Nash said. "Although the lawsuit repeats a lot of innuendo, half-truths and lies, we welcome this opportunity to defend the organization -- for the first time -- in a court of law and to establish, once and for all, what is fact and what is fiction."

The NFL's statement defended the investigation process while calling the allegations "baseless."

"We reject the legally unsound and factually baseless allegations made today by the D.C. Attorney General against the NFL and Commissioner Goodell and will vigorously defend against those claims," the NFL's statement said.

How the process plays out will be tough to forecast. Yet Racine's demeanor on Thursday indicated that he's not treating the matter lightly, and he hopes to at the very least publicize the details that the NFL seemingly sought to suppress after the 10-month investigation. The NFL and the Commanders believed that matter to largely be over, but Thursday's lawsuit indicates that there's a long way to go before any of this goes away.

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