Jerry Jones Hires Former Weinstein Lawyer, Threatens to Sue NFL
The Cowboys owner has upped the stakes in his growing feud with Roger Goodell, and claims he will sue the league if the commissioner's contract is extended.
Hall-of-Famer Jerry Jones. Photo by Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Incensed that the NFL has suspended Ezekiel Elliott, his star running back, for domestic violence charges and in turn created another season filled with court and appellate court battles between a star player and the league, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has reportedly hired former Harvey Weinstein attorney David Boies to block Roger Goodell's impending contract extension and has threatened to sue the league.
According to a report from the New York Times, Jones told the six other owners who comprise the NFL's compensation committee that he hired Boies to contest Goodell's new contract during a conference call last week.
Jones said in a conference call last Thursday with the six owners — those of the Chiefs, Falcons, Giants, Patriots, Steelers and Texans — that legal papers were drawn up and would be served this Friday if the committee did not scrap its plans to extend Goodell’s contract.
As of Wednesday, the owners have not been sued.
After the conference call, Jones's status as an ad hoc member of the compensation committee was revoked by the remaining six members.
Boies has come under fire recently as it was revealed that he was working behind the scenes to suppress soon-to-be-published stories documenting Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein's serial sexual harassment and abuse of actresses and employees. One such story was published by the New York Times, a client of Boies' firm, Boies Schiller and Flexner, at the time. According to a report this week in The New Yorker, a private investigation firm called Black Cube was engaged to stop the publication of the story, and two PIs from the company even met with one of Weinstein's most vocal critics, actress Rose McGowan, under false identities to "extract information" from her.
The explicit goal of the investigations, laid out in one contract with Black Cube, signed in July, was to stop the publication of the abuse allegations against Weinstein that eventually emerged in the New York Times and The New Yorker. Over the course of a year, Weinstein had the agencies “target,” or collect information on, dozens of individuals, and compile psychological profiles that sometimes focussed on their personal or sexual histories. Weinstein monitored the progress of the investigations personally. He also enlisted former employees from his film enterprises to join in the effort, collecting names and placing calls that, according to some sources who received them, felt intimidating.
In some cases, the investigative effort was run through Weinstein’s lawyers, including David Boies, a celebrated attorney who represented Al Gore in the 2000 Presidential-election dispute and argued for marriage equality before the U.S. Supreme Court. Boies personally signed the contract directing Black Cube to attempt to uncover information that would stop the publication of a Times story about Weinstein’s abuses, while his firm was also representing the Times, including in a libel case.
In the aftermath of the New Yorker report, the Times has fired Boies' firm for what the paper called "a grave betrayal of trust." Now Jones, in order to protect another accused abuser, has gone to the apparent expert. It takes a lot to make Roger Goodell look good by comparison, but Jerry sure is trying his damnedest.