The Cowboys have reportedly paid a confidential settlement in the amount of $2.4 million, per ESPN, stemming from allegations of voyeurism from several members of the team’s cheerleading squad. Rich Dalrymple, who aided in and/or led the public relations department for 32 years with the Cowboys, is accused of entering the Cowboys’ cheerleader’s locker room in 2015 as they undressed and holding up a cell phone in their direction, allegedly aimed at the group of women who were a mix of “fully clothed to completely unclothed,” the women then informing team security, team counsel and club HR of the occurrence.
“It hurt my heart because I know how much it affected the people who were involved,” one former cheerleader familiar with the alleged incident said. “It was a very … shut the book, don’t talk about it, this person is going to stay in his position. … They just made it go away.”
Per Don Van Natta Jr. of ESPN:
“One of the cheerleaders alleged that she clearly saw Richard Dalrymple, the Cowboys’ 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, according to several people with knowledge of the events and letters later sent by attorneys for the cheerleaders to the team. Dalrymple gained entry to the back door of the cheerleaders’ locked dressing room by using a security key card.”
On a separate occasion, it is alleged Dalrymple took “upskirt” photos of Charlotte Jones-Anderson — Executive Vice President and Chief Branding Officer who is also the daughter of owner Jerry Jones — inside of the Cowboys war room during the 2015 NFL Draft, a claim made in a signed affidavit by someone who stated they witnessed the incident; though it is unclear if the formal suit was also based upon this incident.
For his part, Dalrymple stated he was unaware there were women in the locker room when he entered and he immediately left when he discovered they were. That account is reportedly contradicted by several others with knowledge of the incident.
“People who know me, co-workers, the media and colleagues, know who I am and what I’m about,” Dalrymple said in his official reply to the allegations. “I understand the very serious nature of these claims and do not take them lightly. The accusations are, however, false. One was accidental and the other simply did not happen. Everything that was alleged was thoroughly investigated years ago, and I cooperated fully.”
The Cowboys claim to have launched an investigation into the matter and did not find any evidence of wrongdoing by Dalrymple.
“The organization took these allegations extremely seriously and moved immediately to thoroughly investigate this matter,” said communications consultant Jim Wilkinson. “The investigation was handled consistent with best legal and HR practices and the investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing. If any wrongdoing had been found, Rich would have been terminated immediately.
“Everyone involved felt just terrible about this unfortunate incident.”
It’s reported that Dalrymple was, in fact, issued a formal written warning, but he remained on with the Cowboys in his role until his retirement in 2022. Each of the women involved in the lawsuit received $399,523.27 in the settlement.