An ex-employee of the Washington Football Team told members of Congress on Thursday that team owner Daniel Snyder harassed her at a team dinner then tried to force her into his limo, hired prostitutes at an event at his home, and was involved in hazing an employee who is an recovering alcoholic.
Tiffani A. Johnston, a former cheerleader and marketing manager for the team, was one of six former employees participating in the House Committee on Oversight and Reform's roundtable discussion, which explored the team's toxic culture and the NFL's overseeing of alleged sexual harassment and misconduct at the franchise.
"I learned on one specific occasion that when I was asked by my boss to attend a networking event (and oh, to dress "cute"), it was actually an orchestration by him and Dan Snyder to put me in a compromising, sexual situation," Johnston said.
Johnston said she once remove Snyder’s hand from her thigh during dinner and that afterward, Snyder attempted to push her into his limo.
"Dan, Dan, this is a bad idea … a very bad idea, Dan," Johnston said Snyder's attorney said in an attempt to intervene.
Johnston was later instructed by a team official to not repeat the story, Johnston said.
Johnston and another employee also made allegations involving Snyder and prostitutes, alleging they were hired by team executives after an event at Snyder's home in Aspen.
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Melanie Coburn, a former team cheerleader and marketing director for the team, also issued a new claim involving Snyder on Thursday, describing an employee "awards trip" to Aspen home, alleging that a colleague was "hazed to drink despite being a recovering addict."
Congresswoman Jackie Speier asked the roundtable participants about the frequency with which they dealt with sexual harassment in the WFT workplace.
One woman, Rachel Engleson, said every day for eight years. Another, Emily Applegate, said 515 times (or every day for the year and a half that she worked there).
Snyder on Thursday responded to the hearing, acknowledging "misconduct which took place at the Team and the harm suffered by some of our valued employees.''
"While past conduct at the Team was unacceptable, the allegations leveled against me personally in today’s roundtable — many of which are well over 13 years old — are outright lies," Snyder said. "I unequivocally deny having participated in any such conduct, at any time and with respect to any person."
In July, the NFL's examination of the charges resulted in Snyder being fined $10 million.