Cowboys reportedly paid $2.4 million settlement to cheerleaders who accused team executive of voyeurism

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The Dallas Cowboys reportedly paid four cheerleaders a $2.4 million settlement after they accused Richard Dalrymple, the team's senior vice president for public relations and communications, of gaining access to their locker room and watching them undress without their knowledge in 2015.

In documents obtained by ESPN, one of the Cowboys cheerleaders alleges that she saw Dalrymple standing behind a partial wall and watching the women undress with his iPhone "extended toward them." ESPN has not released the names of the four cheerleaders who received the settlement.

In an unrelated incident, a "lifelong Cowboys fan" said he saw Dalrymple take an upskirt photo of team owner Jerry Jones' daughter, Cowboys senior vice president Charlotte Jones Anderson, while watching a livestream of the team's draft war room. The fan signed an affidavit affirming what he saw.

Dalrymple, who retired with zero fanfare on Feb. 2 after 32 years with the Cowboys, said in a statement that he denies all the accusations. The Cowboys told ESPN that both incidents were investigated and no evidence of wrongdoing was found.

The alleged voyeurism incident

According to ESPN, the voyeurism incident took place during a charity luncheon on Sept. 2, 2015. Four Cowboys cheerleaders reportedly attended, wore their uniforms during an on-stage presentation, and then went to their dressing room to change so they could attend the actual luncheon. Two security guards typically stood by the two different entrances to the dressing room, but only one was there that day.

Dalrymple allegedly entered the unguarded door, which was reportedly accessible only by keycard (which Dalrymple had). The door led to a nook that was separated from the dressing room by a partial wall. According an attorney's letter obtained by ESPN as well as multiple sources, the women heard the door open and shouted "We're in here!" They reportedly assumed it was a security guard and thought he'd left.

Via ESPN:

Several minutes later, one of the cheerleaders noticed a man's hand and a black cellphone pointed in their direction, according to several sources. At the time, the women were going "from fully clothed to completely unclothed," a cheerleader later told a Cowboys HR official and the team's general counsel, Jason Cohen. The cheerleader who saw the cellphone was certain the man was lurking and taking photos or video of them, according to multiple sources.

That woman ran toward him, shouting, "Hey, what are you doing?" The cheerleader, a veteran of several years on the team, immediately recognized Dalrymple, who she said dashed away, according to the letter. The other women did not see the man, according to the letter.

According to ESPN, the four cheerleaders immediately reported the incident to a security guard, who wanted to report it to the police, as Dalrymple's alleged actions would be a misdemeanor and a felony if proved. The police were not called, however, and the cheerleaders eventually made it to the luncheon. Afterward they reportedly met with Kelli Finglass, the cheerleaders' director, and all four reportedly wanted the incident to be investigated.

Senior Cowboys executive Richard Dalrymple allegedly watched four Cowboys cheerleaders undress in their dressing room in 2015 while his iPhone was aimed at them. Dalrymple retired in Feb. 2022. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Senior Cowboys executive Richard Dalrymple allegedly watched four Cowboys cheerleaders undress in their dressing room in 2015 while his iPhone was aimed at them. Dalrymple retired in Feb. 2022. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Cowboys launched investigation

Jim Wilkinson, a Cowboys communications consultant, told ESPN that the investigation started later that same day. The cheerleaders gave statements by phone, Dalrymple's work phone was confiscated and would be investigated by a forensics firm, multiple passwords were obtained, and Cowboys general counsel Jason Cohen conducted the first of several interviews with Dalrymple.

Dalrymple admitted to Cohen that he used his keycard to enter the locker room, but said it was only to use the bathroom. While Cohen interviewed Dalrymple the day of the alleged incident, it took much longer for anyone from the team to meet with the cheerleaders in person.

Via ESPN:

It took eight days after the incident for team officials to meet with the women in person. The cheerleaders met individually with the chief of HR and Cohen in a conference room at Valley Ranch, then the team's headquarters, a source said. The source insisted that those meetings were the first time team officials interviewed the women and that any discussions on Sept. 2 were "perfunctory." At those Valley Ranch meetings, team officials told each of the women that they had interviewed Dalrymple, who insisted that he had entered their locked dressing room only to use the bathroom and did not expect to find them there.

A source said the women were incredulous for two reasons: One cheerleader said she clearly saw Dalrymple with the cellphone sticking out from beyond a wall pointed at them. And the cheerleaders noted that there was a bathroom across the hall from their dressing room.

Additionally, while Dalrymple's work phone was investigated by a forensics firm, he allegedly claimed that he didn't own a personal phone and team officials took him at his word.

According to ESPN, Cohen told the cheerleaders during that meeting that Dalrymple didn't deny he had been in their dressing room, and that Dalrymple understood that "he was this close to being fired." Also during that meeting, team officials "assured" the cheerleaders that they were taking the incident seriously, offered them "professional resources," and Cohen even offered to connect one of the cheerleaders with a lawyer friend of his.

However, the cheerleaders reportedly felt the investigation had been insufficient and tilted toward Dalrymple the entire time. They were never told whether security footage had been consulted, and were further instructed to not mention this incident to their teammates or the public.

Lawyer discovers alleged upskirt photo on livestream

ESPN reported that the cheerleaders, frustrated and upset with the investigation, hired Fort Worth attorney W. Kelly Puls later that month. Then, while searching for evidence of other incidents involving Dalrymple, one of the cheerleaders found a post on Facebook from lifelong fan Randy Horton alleging that he saw Dalrymple take several upskirt photos of Charlotte Jones Anderson on a livestream of the team's draft war room.

"I'll never forget what I saw," Horton told ESPN. "The first time he reached out from a sitting position behind her, and she is standing with her back to him, and did it once ... He looked at the screen, touched the screen and then did it again. The second time, he's sitting in a chair at the corner of the table on the left and he held his phone beneath the corner of the table with the camera side facing up where she was standing. And did it again.

"I have no doubt in my mind of what it was he was doing. It was obvious."

Horton was unable to capture images of the livestream, which took place in spring 2015, but one person commented on his Facebook post that they'd also seen Dalrymple snap the photos. The team was made aware of the war room incident four weeks after it happened. A team source told ESPN that HR viewed the video and determined that Dalrymple did nothing wrong.

ESPN obtained a letter the cheerleaders' lawyer sent to the Cowboys, stating their intention to present evidence of the upskirt photos.

Cowboys make security changes

According to ESPN, the Cowboys issued a disciplinary letter to Dalrymple in Oct. 2015 and revoked his access to the dressing room. The team also made other changes.

Via ESPN:

The Cowboys also made sweeping security changes around the cheerleaders' locker room, Wilkinson said. They reconfigured security key card access to locker rooms for all staff and added cameras, new signs and new communications to alert security staff when locker rooms were in use. The source said they also ensured that cheerleaders were aware of HR and legal resources, employee assistance programs and an anonymous NFL hotline.

ESPN reported that the cheerleaders eventually chose to settle with the team, and all four were eventually paid nearly $400,000 each, but they, along with their spouses, had to sign nondisclosure agreements. They were forbidden from talking about the locker room incident or the war room incident unless they were issued a subpoena. Jones, his two sons, his daughter and Dalrymple all reportedly signed the agreement, which denied any wrongdoing.

Dalrymple continued to work for the Cowboys for another six years until he retired earlier this month. According to ESPN, his retirement was announced around the time they started making inquiries about the settlement and related incidents. Though Dalrymple worked for the team for 32 years and at one point was reportedly one of Jerry Jones' confidants, no retirement announcement was made, and no team officials publicly thanked him for his years of service.