Attorneys reveal details about Tenn. lawsuit in Varsity Spirit abuse scandal

Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 9:21 AM CDT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Attorneys held a conference to announce a new federal lawsuit in the ongoing Varsity Spirit abuse scandal Tuesday morning.

The group of attorneys say the teenage athletes were physically, emotionally and sexually abused while the athletes’ gyms alongside national interests like Varsity Spirit, the U.S. All-Star Federation (USASF) and Bain Capital allowed it to happen.

The attorneys Bakari Sellers, Rep. John Ray Clemmons, Jessica Fickling and Alexandra Benevento are seeking relief for multiple survivors and named new abusers including Tennessee-based Premier Athletics as well as athlete and coach Dominick Frizzell.

“We’re talking about a financial empire based on physical, emotional and sexual abuse,” said 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.”

According to the press conference, the lawsuit points out that despite allegations being reported against Frizzell, including inappropriate messages and pictures sent to a minor athlete, he continued to be allowed in Premier’s gym as late as September 2022.

“That goes beyond irresponsible,” said Fickling. “It’s inexcusable.”

“This is big and it’s getting bigger,” said Benevento. “Our clients deserve justice and we’re going to make sure they get it.”

Varsity Spirit issued this statement in response:

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