The lawyers representing a man suing the Archdiocese of New Orleans with claims he was sexually assaulted by a former deacon pushed back against a statement from New Orleans Saints owner Gayle Benson over the team’s involvement and counsel in the public relations handling of the scandal.
According to Amie Just and Ramon Antonio Vargas of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, John Denenea, Richard Trahant and Soren Gisleson – the lawyers representing John Doe in the case – released a statement of their own alleging Benson is not as versed on the communications between the team and the church as her statement insisted.
“As we previously stated, it is obvious that Gayle Marie Benson has not read the e-mails the Saints are hiding from the public, or even re-read her own e-mails. If she had read them, she could never have made some of the false claims asserted in her statement today.”
The communications between the team and church are a part of the ongoing legal dispute as the plaintiff’s attorneys and the Associated Press are seeking the public release of the documents. A judge recently ruled that the emails are of public concern and a hearing before a special master on February 20 will determine whether a request from the AP to release the documents will be granted.
Benson released a lengthy statement on Monday that preempted an article from the AP expected to be published on Tuesday. She again asserted that the team’s representatives advised the church to be fully transparent and honest about the circumstances and proactive in their response and communications with the media. She reiterated her family’s lengthy involvement with the church while denying they had any hand in paying settlements to victims of sexual abuse.
The statement from Doe’s attorneys didn’t speak to the specific supposed falsehoods from Benson’s comments. The eventual release of the emails and communications between the Saints and the church would go a long way toward clearing up the truth of the matter.