Amid harrowing sexual-abuse allegations against a South Carolina cheerleading coach who died by suicide last week, his widow announced Wednesday that she is closing their well-known gym’s “doors indefinitely.”
In a statement to The Daily Beast, Kathy Foster said it was a “difficult decision” to close Rockstar Cheerleading and Dance but that she believes “it is the best option under the circumstances.”
According to Rockstar Cheer, Greenville’s website, Foster’s former husband, Scott Foster, opened the gym in 2007 to launch a nationally recognized cheer organization that had licensing agreements with dozens of other gyms across the country.
“Over the past 15 years, our incredible athletes have worked hard to build a winning legacy and I will always be extremely proud of each of them,” Kathy Foster added in the statement. “I ask for privacy for my children and for those personally affected during this difficult time.”
The news comes just days after The Daily Beast first reported a lawsuit filed against Scott Foster that alleges the 49-year-old coach sexually abused, exploited, and transported underage athletes for years—and presided over a culture that allowed his staff to do the same while a well-known private-equity firm allegedly cashed in on the mayhem.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of four Jane Does and two John Does—as well as 95 other Jane Does—and alleges a culture that enabled Scott Foster to ply his athletes with drugs and alcohol and coerce at least two teenage boys to have sex.
The lawsuit alleges Foster recently learned that he was the subject of an investigation by the Department of Homeland Security related to allegations he sexually abused underage athletes. A Homeland Security Investigations spokesperson previously told The Daily Beast that he “could not confirm or deny” an investigation into Foster because the department does not comment on active cases.
The Greenville County Coroner’s Office told The Daily Beast that Scott Foster died by suicide on Aug. 22 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was found at around 12:30 p.m. in his car in the parking lot of Paris Mountain State Park, about 20 minutes away from Rockstar Cheer Greenville.
Last week, another Rockstar Cheer athlete filed a lawsuit accusing Foster of sexually assaulting her almost a dozen times over a year, plying her with alcohol, and coercing her into sending nude photographs over Snapchat.
“Foster used this position to coerce children to concede to his sexual suggestions, using his authority and position of trust to exploit them physically, sexually, and emotionally,” the personal injury lawsuit, filed last Tuesday in Greenville County, states.
If you or a loved one are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. You can also text or dial 988.
Source by www.thedailybeast.com