Thursday, August 16, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Warren Sapp accused of harassment; NFL Network suspends three analysts over sexual assault allegations

Warren Sapp, a former Buc and Pro Football Hall of Famer, has been accused of sexual harassment while working as an analyst with NFL Network, according to a lawsuit.

NFL Network has suspended analysts Marshall Faulk, Heath Evans and Ike Taylor "pending an investigation" into allegations of sexual harassment and assault, the network announced late Monday.

The allegations were made in a lawsuit by former NFL Network employee Jami Cantor, who sued NFL Enterprises in Los Angeles Superior Court in October, alleging age and sex discrimination, sexual harassment and hostile work environment, among other complaints. Cantor worked as a wardrobe stylist for the network from 2006 until she was fired in October 2016.

The lawsuit also said that Cantor had been harassed by Sapp and former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb, as well as by the former network employee Marc Watts.

According to Deadspin, in the amended complaint filed Monday, Cantor described harassment from Sapp, who was fired from the network in 2015 after being arrested for assault and soliciting prostitution:

"... came into the restroom while Plaintiff was preparing clothes, and urinated in front of her. Plaintiff screamed at him to get out, but Mr. Sapp laughed and told Plaintiff, "Sorry mama, but your office shouldn’t be our (restroom)." Plaintiff complained to the NFL, but nothing was done until Plaintiff told the NFL she would work in the hallway. Mr. Sapp also gave Plaintiff sex toys as a Christmas gifts three years in a row, showed Plaintiff nude pictures of numerous women he claimed to have slept with, and openly talked about his sex life in front of Plaintiff and other NFL employees, including supervisors."

McNabb left the network in 2013, but later lost a job with Fox Sports after pleading guilty to drunken driving in November 2015.

On Monday, Cantor filed an amended complaint that more fully laid out the allegations of sexual harassment and assault against the three analysts, all former NFL players.

In the complaint, Cantor says that Faulk, a Hall of Fame running back, asked personal questions about her sex life, fondled her and pulled out his genitals while demanding oral sex; that Evans, a former fullback, sent nude pictures and propositioned her; and that Taylor, a former cornerback, sent her a video that showed him masturbating.

"The supervisors knew about it, the supervisors observed it," Cantor’s lawyer, Laura Horton, said in an interview on Monday. "It was insidious in this particular environment."

NFL Network declined to comment beyond its initial statement announcing the suspensions.

The lawsuit and suspensions were first reported by Bloomberg News.

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