Five days after a former intern for New York City FC claimed on social media that she was subjected to unwanted touching by then-striker David Villa while working for the club in 2018, NYCFC announced that it is investigating the matter.
“New York City Football Club has learned of the allegations made by a former intern by seeing them on social media,” the club said it a statement. “We take this matter extremely seriously and do not tolerate harassment of any kind in any areas of our organization. We immediately launched an investigation into the matter.”
Posting on Twitter under the name Skyler B, the former intern wrote on July 17 that she “rarely went a day” without Villa “grabbing me or verbally harassing me,” and that her bosses thought “it was great comedic material.”
She also claimed that she was “groped” and “mocked” and “shoved” during her time with the team, although she did not directly attribute that behavior to Villa. The former Barcelona, Valencia and Atletico Madrid striker helped Spain win its only World Cup in 2010 and joined NYCFC as its first signing and star attraction before it entered MLS in 2015. Villa moved to Japanese side Vissel Kobe following the 2018 season and retired last year at age 38.
In a statement provided by Villa’s agent, the player denied any wrongdoing. “I strongly object to the accusations made about me on Twitter. These accusations are entirely false and I deny them,” said Villa.
“It’s hard to understand why this was not raised previously if any one felt uncomfortable at any time,” he added before asking “the media and the public to please respect my right to the presumption of innocence in this matter.”
The former intern, whose full name is being withheld by Yahoo Sports, made the allegations public following a bombshell Washington Post report that revealed pervasive harassment within the front office of Washington’s NFL team. She had not responded to an interview request as of publication.
More from Yahoo Sports: