George Clooney To Produce Docuseries On Athlete Sex Abuse Where Jim Jordan Coached
Actor George Clooney is producing a documentary about decades of reported sexual abuse of athletes at Ohio State University, where Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) was once an assistant coach on the wrestling team.
The series is based on an article in Sports Illustrated by writer Jon Wertheim last year addressing allegations of 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 died of suicide in 2005.
The documentaries can't be welcome news for Jordan, who was an assistant coach for the wrestling team in Ohio from 1987 to 1995. At least three athletes and a referee have claimed they discussed the abuse directly with Jordan, but he took no action to stop it. Jordan has denied that he was reported to or knew about abuse.
One of the victims in Sports Illustrated history claimed that Jordan knowingly ignored Strauss's abuse.
A one-time captain on Jordan's team said in an interview with MSNBC's Joy Reid last year that the scandal for Jordan is only going to get worse.
Former wrestler Adam DiSabato told Reid that Jordan called him repeatedly to ask him to contradict DiSabato's own brother's report in 2018 that he told Jordan about sexual abuse. DiSabato said Jordan was fully aware that Strauss was harassing athletes during exercise.
The sexual abuse was "obvious knowledge on our wrestling team," he told Reid.
Hundreds of athletes have filed lawsuits against the university for ignoring allegations of sexual abuse. One suit cites Strauss' cases of "athletes drugged and raped" and claims that Strauss also hunted underage boys who attended sporting events on campus.
A referee said in a 2019 lawsuit that Strauss masturbated in a shower in front of him after a wrestling match at university - and that he reported the encounter to Jordan. "Yes, that's Strauss," replied Jordan and then head coach Russ Hellickson, according to the lawsuit.
The state of Ohio agreed to pay $ 41 million last May to settle lawsuits from 162 victims.
Sports Illustrated Studios and 101 Studios are producing the series about the Clooney Smokehouse Pictures scandal, Variety reported. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the documentaries haven't found a point of sale yet.
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.
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