Actor George Clooney is producing a documentary series on decades of allegations of sexual abuse of athletes at Ohio State University, where Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) was once an assistant wrestling team coach.
The series will be based on a Sports Illustrated article by writer Jon Wertheim last year that addresses the allegations against the late Ohio State sports doctor Richard Strauss and the lack of response from officials.
The university said in its 2019 annual crime report that Strauss committed at least 1,429 sexual assaults and 47 rapes during his 20-year tenure. Strauss was never charged and died by suicide in 2005.
The documentary series cannot be good news for Jordan, who was the assistant coach of the wrestling team at Ohio State from 1987 to 1995. At least three athletes and a referee have alleged that they discussed the abuse directly with Jordan, but that they did not made no decision. action to stop it. Jordan has denied that he was informed of any abuse or that he knew about it.
One of the victims in the Sports Illustrated story alleged that Jordan knowingly ignored Strauss’s abuse.
A former captain of Jordan’s team said in an interview with MSNBC’s Joy Reid last year that the scandal “is only going to get worse” for Jordan.
Former wrestler Adam DiSabato told Reid that Jordan repeatedly called him to beg him to contradict DiSabato’s own brother’s account in 2018 that he told Jordan about sexual abuse. DiSabato said Jordan was fully aware that Strauss was sexually abusing athletes during physicals.
The sexual abuse was “a blatant knowledge on our entire wrestling team,” he told Reid.
Hundreds of athletes have filed lawsuits against the university for ignoring allegations of sexual abuse. One lawsuit cites cases of Strauss “drugging and raping athletes,” and claims that Strauss also preyed on underage children who participated in sporting events on campus.
A referee said in a 2019 lawsuit that Strauss masturbated in front of him in a shower after a college wrestling match, and that he reported the match to Jordan. “Yeah, that’s Strauss,” Jordan and then-head coach Russ Hellickson responded, according to the lawsuit.
The state of Ohio agreed last May to pay $ 41 million to settle the claims of 162 victims.
Sports Illustrated Studios and 101 Studios are producing the series about the scandal with Clooney’s Smokehouse Pictures, Variety reported. The docuseries have yet to find a way out, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
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