'Cheer' Coach Monica Aldama Sued for Alleged Sexual Assault Cover-Up
Monica Aldama, the head cheerleading coach featured on Netflix's hit docuseries Cheer, is apparently wrapped up in some shocking legal drama, new reports reveal.
The Navarro College cheer coach has been named in a lawsuit for allegedly trying to cover up the assault of a student, who claims she was sexually assaulted by a teammate in the fall of 2021.
In the court documents obtained by Entertainment Weekly, coach Aldama, director of athletics Michael Landers, Title IX coordinator Elizabeth Pillans, and Navarro College itself were all named in the federal suit, filed in Dallas, Tex. on Wednesday, April 26.
The plaintiff, a Navarro student and former member of Aldama's cheer squad, was named by Us Weekly as Madi Lane, who claims she told Aldama, 51, about the sexual assault and was supposedly told "not to make this a big deal."
Lane eventually decided to quit the cheer team altogether, with the Dancing With the Stars alum allegedly promising to help her find another team if she kept "quiet" abut the alleged assault.
Lane claims in the complaint that she reported the assault to campus police, and was allegedly told that "this type of thing happens all the time," and "nothing will happen," in terms of her alleged assaulter facing repercussions.
Navarro College provided a statement to EW on Thursday to deny "any allegations of wrongdoing," and insist that the institution is "prepared to vigorously defend itself in court."
"The safety and welfare of students is always of utmost priority," the school added in the statement. "Navarro College prohibits sexual harassment and sexual misconduct against all students and is deeply committed to providing an educational environment free from sex discrimination and sexual assault. The College has established robust policies and procedures for reporting, investigating, and responding to all allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Navarro College takes every report of sexual harassment and sexual assault seriously and acts swiftly to provide an appropriate response to protect all students."
"Navarro College does not have further comment because this case is now in active litigation," the statement concluded.
On April 28, Aldama responded to the claims, noting to TMZ that she was "heartbroken by the false allegations."
She continued by defending that she worked "year after year" to keep the team a safe space, adding that if she had learned of any misconduct she would not have remained silent.
This isn't the first time the Cheer cast from Navarro College has been plagued with a sexual assault scandal, as former squad member and fan favorite Jerry Harris plead guilty to child pornography and sex crime charges last year, for which he is currently serving a 12-year sentence in federal prison.