Speculation was rampant ahead of last month’s Washington Post report on the Washington Football Team’s alleged long-standing culture of sexual harassment in the workplace.
The arrival of the story was teased days before it was published, leading to widespread conjecture on social media about what it would expose.
Dan Snyder sues for $10 million
Washington Football Team owner Daniel Snyder has filed a $10 million defamation lawsuit against an Indian media outlet, accusing it of publishing false reports linking him to sex trafficking and disgraced late financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Snyder sued India-based Media Entertainment Arts WorldWide on Friday in New Delhi, accusing it of publishing stories meant to intentionally malign him on meaww.com, according to documents obtained by the New York Times.
“While Mr. Snyder understands that truthful criticism about the Washington Football Team comes with the territory of owning the team, malicious criminal allegations cross the line,” Snyder’s lawyer Rizwan A. Qureshi said. “He intends to hold all of those responsible for this defamation accountable and will donate any proceeds recovered in the lawsuit to charity.”
The Washington Post report made no reference to Epstein or sex trafficking, but spoke with 15 former team employees who detailed allegations of systemic sexual harassment at team headquarters.
Lawsuit: Did someone pay to have info published?
The lawsuit accuses MEAWW of publishing the information while knowing that it was untrue and wants to uncover is someone paid for it to be published. Some of the information originated from anonymous posts on Reddit, according to the suit. The story cited is no longer up on the website.
The lawsuit also seeks to uncover the source of the false information that it claims paid MEAWW to publish.
Outlet denies some claims in lawsuit
The Times spoke with Nirnay Chowdhary, who denied that anyone paid the company to publish the report. He also acknowledged “some sort of errors” while vowing to launch an internal investigation.
Chowdhary told the Times that employees of his company have been harassed over the allegations made in the lawsuit while insisting that nobody paid them to publish the story.
“My entire company has been harassed,” he said. “They started asking us, ‘Who had paid you to write these articles? If you are not going to tell us the name, we are going to file a lawsuit.
“They are trying to force us to give us some name of someone but we have no name to give to them. This person does not exist.”
Snyder’s lawsuit is the latest in a line of tumultuous events for the NFL team owner, including the Washington Post report and the team’s name change from a slur against Native Americans amid mounting social and financial pressure in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death.
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