Dallas Cowboys paid $2.4MN to settle cheerleader allegations – report

An NFL team paid off cheerleaders who accused a team executive of voyeurism, according to a new report

NFL team the Dallas Cowboys reached a confidential $2.4 million settlement with four cheerleaders who accused a senior team executive of voyeurism including recording them while in their dressing rooms, according to a report.

The four members of the cheerleading squad were each paid $399,523.27, according to ESPN, which says that the rest of the money was used to pay associated legal costs after they made allegations that former senior vice president for public relations and communications Richard Dalrymple recorded them with his cell phone while they were in a state of undress.

Dalrymple retired from the Cowboys after 32 years of service earlier this month.

The 2015 complaint alleged that Dalrymple gained entry to their locker room using a security key card and was subsequently discovered by the women attempting to record them with his iPhone.

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An internal investigation conducted by the team found no firm evidence of any impropriety on Dalrymple's behalf, according to the outlet – but the team hierarchy allegedly saw fit to issue him with a written warning. 

Dalrymple vigorously denied the allegations against him 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 co-operated fully."

Figures within the Cowboys also indicated to the report that no wrongdoing was found in their investigation.

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"If any wrongdoing had been found, Rich would have been terminated immediately," said Jim Wilkinson, a communications expert employed by the team.

"Everyone involved felt just terrible about this unfortunate incident."

The report also suggested that Dalrymple's retirement came around the same time as he became aware of various reporters' interest in the matter – although Dalrymple said that this timing was merely coincidental.

The account also quotes a former Cowboys cheerleader who was not involved in the incident as saying that the alleged voyeurism was common knowledge amongst the cheerleading squad.

It also details how the team allegedly conducted a forensic analysis of Dalrymple's work phone but found no evidence of photographs being taken.

Dalrymple is said to have denied owning a personal cell phone and told investigators that he did enter the locker room, mistakenly thinking it was empty while wanting to use the bathroom.

"It was a 'he said, she said' – and the team chose to believe Dalrymple's side of things," ESPN quoted an unnamed source as saying. "But four women swore this happened."

None of the four women who made the reported complaint are currently employed by the team.

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