Editor’s note: This story contains alleged accounts of sexual assault. If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or at https://www.rainn.org.
The Cowboys reportedly paid over $2 million in a settlement following four members of the franchise's cheerleading squad accused a senior executive of voyeurism, according to ESPN's Don Van Natta Jr.
One cheerleader alleged that she saw Richard Dalrymple, Dallas’s longtime senior vice president for public relations and communications, “standing behind a partial wall in their locker room with his iPhone extended toward them while they were changing their clothes,” per ESPN.
A fan also accused the executive of taking “upskirt” photos of Charlotte Jones Anderson while in the franchise’s war room during the 2015 draft. Anderson is not only a team senior vice president but also the daughter of team owner Jerry Jones. The fan signed an affidavit, saying he saw Dalrymple taking the photos while watching the livestream of the draft on the team website.
Dalrymple said in a statement to ESPN that the allegations were false. He added that one was “accidental” and the other allegation “simply did not happen.” He said the claims were “thoroughly investigated,” which a Cowboys representative confirmed to ESPN and added that there was no evidence that he took photos or videos of the women.
However, the franchise “does not dispute that Dalrymple used his security key card access to enter the cheerleaders' locker room while the women were changing clothes,” per ESPN.
Dalrymple did reportedly receive a formal written warning, though, in October 2015, and the settlement was made in May of the following year.
The incident allegedly occurred during a charity luncheon on Sept. 2, 2015. The four cheerleaders reportedly attended in their uniforms for the on-stage speeches and then went to the locker room to change before heading to the luncheon.
Two security guards typically guard the doors, but on that day, there was only one, leaving the back door unguarded. The cheerleaders say Dalrymple used a security key to unlock the door and stand behind a partial wall. According to ESPN, the women shouted “We're in here” when they heard the door open. Several minutes later, one of the women saw a man's hand and a phone pointed in their direction at the time when they were going “from fully clothed to completely unclothed.”
That cheerleader happened to be a veteran on the team and recognized Dalrymple when she ran to him and shouted, “Hey, what are you doing?” The executive allegedly ran away. The police were not called, although the security guard wanted to report it.
An investigation started later that day, but according to ESPN, team officials did not meet with the cheerleaders until eight days later. They were told during the meeting that Dalrymple did not deny being in the locker room, but per ESPN, he “insisted that he had entered their locked dressing room only to use the bathroom and did not expect to find them there.”
However, the cheerleaders noted there was a bathroom across the hall.
They grew frustrated with the investigation and decided to hire an attorney later that month. While searching for evidence of other incidents involving the executive, one cheerleader came across the fan’s Facebook post concerning Anderson and the “upskirt” photo.
“I'll never forget what I saw,” the fan told ESPN. “The first time he reached out from a sitting position behind her, and she is standing with her back to him, and did it once ... He looked at the screen, touched the screen and then did it again. The second time, he's sitting in a chair at the corner of the table on the left and he held his phone beneath the corner of the table with the camera side facing up where she was standing. And did it again.
“I have no doubt in my mind of what it was he was doing. It was obvious.”
Security changes were made to the cheerleaders’ locker room, and each of the four women received a settlement of almost $400,000. They, their spouses and several Cowboys officials signed nondisclosure agreements.