GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) – The Strom Law Firm announced a new federal lawsuit involving allegations against Varsity Spirit and other cheer organizations during a news conference in Tennessee on Tuesday.
The announcement was made around noon in front of the Clifford Davis-Odell Horton Federal Building in Memphis, TN.
Officials said the lawsuit names new alleged abusers, including Tennessee-based Premier Athletics and athlete/coach Dominick Frizzell.
“This lawsuit makes it clear that we’re not talking about some isolated incident in South Carolina,” said attorney Bakari Sellers. “This is a nationwide epidemic of abuse that infects all of competitive cheerleading enabled and concealed by Varsity Spirit, the U.S. All Star Federation (USASF) and Bain Capital.”
According to officials, much of the abuse alleged in the lawsuit occurred while Varsity Spirit was building a new 65,000-square-foot headquarters in downtown Memphis.
“We’re talking about a financial empire based on physical, emotional and sexual abuse,” said Tennessee State Rep. John Ray Clemmons. “As these companies are announcing hundreds of millions of dollars in new investments to grow that empire, these young athletes are being abused and, instead of protecting them, Varsity Spirit, USASF and USA Cheer either ignored and dismissed these allegations or quietly allowed the abusers to relocate to a new gym or facility without parents knowing the truth.”
The lawsuit also alleges that Frizzell was allowed in Premier Athletics’ gym after someone reported that he sent inappropriate messages and pictures to a minor athlete.
“This is big and it’s getting bigger,” said attorney Alexandra Benevento. “Our clients deserve justice and we’re going to make sure they get it.”
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