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MSG CEO James Dolan Sued for Sexual Assault by Eagles Tour Masseuse

Mr. Nimbus | 01/16/2024

Madison Square Garden executive James Dolan is facing a sexual assault lawsuit that claims he pressured a masseuse into unwanted sex while his band was touring with the Eagles — and that he later facilitated an incident in which she was also assaulted by Harvey Weinstein.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday (Jan. 15) in Manhattan federal court, Kellye Croft says that Dolan coerced her into “unlawful and unwelcome sex acts” on repeated occasions after she was hired to serve as a massage therapist for the Egales’ Glenn Frey during the 2013 tour.

Croft says she thought the job on the concert tour — on which Dolan’s band JD & The Straight Shot opened for the Eagles — was “her big break” and the “opportunity of a lifetime.” But she says she quickly realized the real reason she was there.

“Dolan was extremely assertive, and pressured Ms. Croft into unwanted sexual intercourse with him,” writes Croft’s attorney, Douglas Wigdor. “Ms. Croft was disgusted by Dolan, but her youth and extreme loneliness while on the road with strangers, as well as Dolan’s immense power, made it possible for Dolan to manipulate Ms. Croft and lure her under his control.”

Dolan is the majority owner/CEO of Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp., a live music giant that operates the famed New York City arena in addition to Manhattan’s Radio City Music Hall, the Las Vegas Sphere and other prominent venues.

Tuesday’s lawsuit also claims that Dolan later secretly orchestrated a 2014 encounter between Croft and his friend Weinstein, the disgraced film producer whose many sexual assault allegations helped spark the #MeToo movement in 2017. Weinstein is currently serving a decades-long prison sentence after being convicted on multiple felony charges.

Croft’s lawyers say Dolan arranged the early 2014 meetup, during which Weinstein allegedly invited her to his hotel room under the guise of discussing an opportunity for her to work as a massage therapist for actors on movie sets. After she refused his “escalating” behavior and returned to her room, her lawyers say Weinstein chased her down the hall, “barged into Ms. Croft’s hotel room” and proceeded to sexually assault her.

In a response sent to Billboard, Dolan’s attorney, E. Danya Perry, said there was “absolutely no merit to any of the allegations against Mr. Dolan” and that the references to Weinstein were “simply meant to inflame.” Perry alleges the claims were an “act of retaliation” by Wigdor, describing him as “an attorney who has brought multiple cases against Mr. Dolan and has not, and cannot, win a judgment against him.”

“Mr. Dolan always believed Ms. Croft to be a good person and is surprised she would agree to these claims,” Perry wrote. “Bottom line, this is not a he said/she said matter and there is compelling evidence to back up our position. We look forward to proving that in court.”

In his own statement, Wigdor said that “our firm has not lost multiple cases to Dolan — that is a fabrication.” He said that with the filing of the lawsuit, “it is time to finally hold Dolan accountable for his outrageous conduct.”

In addition to Dolan and Weinstein, the lawsuit also names several entities owned by The Azoff Company, the privately held company founded by legendary music industry executive Irving Azoff. Though Azoff himself is not individually named as a defendant, the lawsuit claims he was “extremely close friends” with Dolan as well as a frequent business partner — and that Azoff’s companies thus enabled Dolan’s alleged abuse.

“In addition to the extremely close personal relationship between Dolan and Irving Azoff, Dolan was a critically important business partner for the Azoff Entities,” Croft’s lawyers write. “The Azoff Entities thus benefited from facilitating Dolan’s behavior to the extent it kept their partner, a notoriously erratic billionaire, happy.”

In a statement to Billboard, a representative for Azoff strongly denied the lawsuit’s allegations: “Irving Azoff is not a party to this lawsuit. Neither he nor his companies had any involvement in any alleged misconduct by others.”

An attorney for Weinstein did not immediately return a request for comment.

This post was originally published on this site

Written by Mr. Nimbus

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