Actor George Clooney is producing documentary series about decades of reported athlete sexual abuse at Ohio State University, where Rep Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) was once the team’s assistant coach fight.
The series will be based on a Sports Illustrated article by writer Jon Wertheim last year dealing with 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 committed suicide in 2005.
The documentary series may not be good news for Jordan, who was the assistant coach of the Ohio State wrestling team from 1987 to 1995. At least three athletes and a referee said they discussed the abuse directly with Jordan, but that he has no action to stop him. Jordan has denied being told or aware of any abuse.
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 “would only get worse” for Jordan.
Former wrestler Adam DiSabato told Reid that Jordan repeatedly called him begging him to contradict DiSabato’s own brother’s account in 2018 that he told Jordan of sexual abuse. DiSabato said Jordan was fully aware that Strauss assaulted athletes during physical sessions.
Sexual abuse was “blatant knowledge throughout our wrestling team,” he told Reid.
Hundreds of athletes have taken the university to court for ignoring allegations of sexual abuse. A lawsuit cites cases of Strauss “drugging and raping athletes,” and claims Strauss also preyed on underage boys who participated in athletic events on campus.
A referee said in a lawsuit in 2019 that Strauss masturbated in front of him in a shower after a wrestling match at college – and reported the encounter to Jordan. “Yeah, that’s Strauss,” responded Jordan and then-head coach Russ Hellickson, according to the lawsuit.
The state of Ohio agreed last May to pay $ 41 million to settle lawsuits filed by 162 victims.
Sports Illustrated Studios and 101 Studios are producing the scandal series with Clooney’s Smokehouse Pictures, Variety reported. The docu-series has yet to find an outlet, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
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