Washington Football Team owner Dan Snyder has accused Jessica McCloughan, wife of former Washington general manager Scot McCloughan, of spreading lies that aided the publication of articles erroneously linking the billionaire to sex trafficking and the late Jeffrey Epstein, according to The Athletic’s Daniel Kaplan.
Snyder has reportedly asked a federal court to approve subpoenas for McCloughan and Friday Night Lights LLC, where she works as a legal agent. The subpoenas are part of a $10 million defamation lawsuit Snyder filed in August against India-based Media Entertainment Arts WorldWide.
McCloughan is reportedly one of a number of people Snyder believes have played a role in the articles, and he is apparently seeking her subpoena to strengthen his lawsuit, the proceeds of which he has pledged to donate to charity.
In the filing, Snyder reportedly claims to have documents confirming that McCloughan was in repeated communication with a former team employee in the days directly before and after the publication of the articles alleging Snyder’s sex-trafficking ties.
Snyder also seemed to claim the former team employee in question was in contact with The Washington Post before its publication of the bombshell sexual harassment expose that Snyder has previously criticized as a “hit job.”
From The Athletic:
“Petitioner has obtained documents confirming that Mrs. McCloughan communicated with at least one former Team employee on at least forty-four (44) occasions both in the days leading up to and immediately following the publication of the Defamatory Articles,” Snyder’s lawyer wrote in the motion. “Each of Mrs. McCloughan’s calls were made via a phone number registered to her company, Friday Night Lights. The volume and timing of these calls suggest that Respondents had advance knowledge of the publication and contents of the Defamatory Articles, and/or the publication and contents of a forthcoming July 16, 2020 article in the Washington Post about the Team.
“Further, the 44 calls between Respondents and a former Team employee were frequently preceded or followed by calls that same day – sometimes within minutes – between the former Team employee and representatives of the Washington Post and/or one of the minority owners of the Team.”
To be clear, Snyder is not suing McCloughan. He is attempting to have his lawyers depose her to help his lawsuit, in which he alleges the Indian website was paid to publish misinformation and that Washington minority owners helped spread rumors to force him to sell the team.
Snyder is also not targeting Scot McCloughan, his team’s former GM. McCloughan was fired in 2017, with a team official reportedly pointing to McCloughan’s struggles with alcoholism.
McCloughan later lost a grievance against Washington alleging that he was unjustly fired. There were apparently no hard feelings in July, when McCloughan defended Snyder amid the Washington sexual harassment allegations and called him the best owner he worked under during his career:
“I want to get something out there from my standpoint. That I had nothing but a positive experience with Dan Snyder. Nothing but positive,” McCloughan told The Athletic.
We’ll see if that outlook changes now that Snyder has alleged the man’s wife had a hand in spreading defamatory information about the billionaire.
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