The woman who filed a $7.5 million sexual harassment claim against former UA football coach Rich Rodriguez last month has submitted an additional $8.5 million claim against the University of Arizona, saying that the school is liable for Rodriguez’s conduct. Melissa Wilhelmsen, Rodriguez’s former administrative assistant, says that she was subjected to assault and sexual harassment by Rodriguez, and a hostile work environment within the athletic department, according to the claim filed Friday with the Arizona Board of Regents and obtained by the Star on Saturday. The document says that Wilhelmsen and her husband also have claims against Rodriguez for slander, defamation and false light, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress stemming from Rodriguez and his wife’s conduct after his firing — including “statements to football players at a team meeting on January 9, 2018.” Rich and Rita Rodriguez spoke to the players in a team meeting run by interim head coach Marcel Yates on that date. It was not immediately clear if any additional legal action had been filed. Rodriguez was fired Jan. 2 after news of Wilhelmsen’s initial claim was made public. In that document, which was filed with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, Wilhelmsen says Rodriguez sexually harassed her for more than a year and forced her to lie to his wife to cover up an affair with another woman. The UA hired Kevin Sumlin a week ago to replace him.
Rich Rodriguez accuser files new $8.5 million claim against Arizona
Tuscon | Jan 21