Though ‘Nothing To Hide’ is the tltle of the debut CD from James Dolan’s hapless J.D. & The Straight Shot vanity project, the New York Daily News’ Michael O’Keefe would have us believe the MSG chief has plenty to hide. Anucha Browne-Sanders’ recent testimony, however damning, writes O’Keefe, is essentially old news .
As an extensive investigation by a team of Daily News reporters and editors found last year, there have been many women at Madison Square Garden who say they have experienced similar harassment. When they complained, like Anucha Browne Sanders, they say they were told to shut up by MSG brass – and sometimes fired.
The best-known is Courtney Prince, the former Rangers City Skater who filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the Garden in 2004 that is expected to go to trial next year. Among the allegations in her suit, Prince says her bosses pressured skaters to go out drinking with them and repeatedly asked her “Who’s loose?” and “Which one is the wild one?”
She was terminated, she said, after she warned other skaters to keep away from Rangers flack Jason Vogel, who she said in depositions wanted to have a threesome with her and a New York Times reporter.
“This is a company that doesn’t have respect for women,” Prince told the Daily News in 2006. “Anucha Browne Sanders is at the top of the organization and I’m a lowly cheerleader at the bottom. I have to believe there’s something going on in the middle, too.”
Prince appears to be right about that. One Cablevision technician who was assaulted by a male co-worker said her hours were cut – and her income dropped by 75% – after she complained. The Garden didn’t act until police arrested the man for assault. He was later found guilty.
Another woman said she found bullets on her desk after she rejected advances from a co-worker who bragged about Mafia connections. When she complained, her boss said it was up to her to demand that the man be fired.
“I said, ‘No, you tell the Mafia guy he’s fired’ Are you kidding? He knew where I worked, where I live and how to get me. They never fired him.”
A sign posted at the Garden’s employee entrance on W. 33rd St. promises “fair and respectful” treatment for all personnel, but female employees told The News that they were constantly bombarded with sexist jokes, bikini-clad pinups and even a blowup sex doll.
In yet another incident, one worker told The News about a fellow employee who hit on a woman who was running a seminar about – get this – sexual harassment.
“He kept telling the woman running the session, ‘You have lovely hair, you have on a lovely skirt.’ He was harassing the woman who running the harassment class.”