Former University of Arizona head football coach Rich Rodriguez claims an ex-employee and her attorney tried to extort several million dollars from him, and threatened to go public with claims of sexual harassment and an extramarital affair if he didn't pay. Rodriguez, fired in January as a lurid sex-harassment claim against him became public, accuses his ex-assistant, Melissa Wilhelmsen, of fabricating a tale of sexual harassment solely to extort $7.5 million — the same amount she now is seeking in a legal claim with the state. Attorneys for Rodriguez on Monday submitted a legal response to a notice of claim that was filed against the coach earlier this year with the Arizona Attorney General's Office. Notices of claim are often precursors to lawsuits. 'Multiple million dollars' The Arizona Republic obtained a copy of the response letter. It says Wilhelmsen's attorney, Augustine Jimenez, called the coach's attorney on Nov. 2 and on Nov. 4, making three allegations of harassment that were not true. In a follow-up email on Nov. 8, the legal filing said, Jimenez said that it would take "multiple million dollars" to resolve the matter. Attorneys said Rodriguez brought the extortion allegations to the attention of the university, U.S. Attorney's Office and FBI.
Former Arizona football coach Rich Rodriguez says ex-employee tried to extort $7.5M from him
Arizona Central | Feb 26