NFL: Former Hall of Famer Warren Moon refutes sexual harassment charges

Warren Moon being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
Warren Moon being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006. PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon has denied allegations of sexual harassment and sexual battery made by an assistant for his sports marketing firm.

Speaking to Seattle's Kiro Radio 97.3 FM, Moon said allegations made in a lawsuit filed this month by Wendy Haskell of unwanted and unsolicited sexual advances were "totally untrue".

"I know this subject of harassment and assault and different things in the workplace by women is a very serious subject right now," Moon said.

"A lot of women have held a lot of these feelings in for a long time, and are coming out and expressing these feelings, and they should be applauded for that.

"And I applaud those women for doing that. But in this particular situation, in my case, it just doesn't apply."

Moon told USA Today that prior to suing him, Haskell demanded US$3 million (S$4 million) to prevent her from going public with accusations Moon called "made up".

The lawsuit, which was filed earlier this month in an Orange County, California, court, alleges that soon after the 32-year-old Haskell was hired to work at Sports 1 Marketing in July, Moon demanded that she "submit to a variety of unnerving sexual and perverse controlling arrangements" that included sleeping in the same bed with him on business trips.

Moon, 61, responded to that claim on Thursday by saying, "At times, we did share rooms together, and at other times, we didn't".

Moon said there was "no truth" to an allegation that he drugged Haskell during a trip to Mexico.

Moon, the NFL's (National Football League) Walter Payton Man of the Year in 1989, played 17 seasons in the NFL with the Houston Oilers, Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks.

In 1995, he was sued by a Vikings cheerleader who accused him of offering her cash for sex, with the case eventually being settled out of court.

Later in 1995, Moon was arrested in Houston after his then-wife, Felicia, told police that he struck her on the head and choked her before she escaped from the couple's home.

The case went to trial and Moon was acquitted when his wife testified she had initiated the violence.