Federal lawsuit alleges cheerleaders sexually assaulted by coaches in South Carolina, including one who recently committed suicide

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Several cheerleading coaches in South Carolina — including a coach who recently committed suicide — sexually abused at least six boys and girls and supplied them with drugs and alcohol, a federal lawsuit alleges.

A “coven of sexual predators” has surrounded Rockstar Cheer of Greenville for more than a decade, according to one of the alleged victims’ attorneys.

Lawyer Bakari Sellers argues that what happened is the result of the same kind of institutional failure seen in the case of larry nassarthe former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University doctor who is serving at least 40 years in prison after admitting to sexually assaulting some of the nation’s top gymnasts for years.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday by four girls and two boys who said they were abused by Scott Foster and other Rockstar Gyms affiliates. This suggests there could be up to 100 other survivors of the abuse.

“Scott Foster and his allies have done their best to intimidate and isolate their targets, making these young people feel alone and in some way responsible. Well, they’re not alone anymore,” attorney Jessica Fickling said. in a statement announcing the lawsuit.

Foster, 49, was found dead in his car at a state park on August 22. He shot himself in the head, the Greenville County Coroner’s Office said.

“He knew this would be a time when the light would be shone on what I believe would turn out to be a group of sexual predators surrounding Rockstar,” attorney James Bannister said.

A number of people knew Foster was abusing his students and either ignored it or didn’t have rules and procedures in place to stop the abuse, according to the lawsuit.

Foster and other unnamed coaches in the lawsuit had sex with cheer students, sent and requested explicit photos on social media, gave them alcohol and marijuana in their homes and in hotel rooms at cheer competitions and warned them not to tell anyone, according to the lawsuit.

“We have a video of Scott Foster on Snapchat with beer bongs drinking with his underage cheerleaders,” Sellers said at a press conference this week.

The suit also names Varsity Brands, which hosts cheerleading competitions; the US All Star Federation, which is an organizing and governing body for competitive cheerleading across the country; Bain Capital, which bought Varsity in 2018, and others.

State and federal police are investigating Foster’s Rockstar Cheer and other cheerleading outlets, seizing computers, cellphones and other evidence, Bannister said. He said investigative agencies had asked lawyers not to identify them.

Several state and federal agencies declined to tell the media if they were involved.

Foster’s wife, Kathy, promised to cooperate with “everyone involved” to ensure the athletes can learn and grow safely.

“I am heartbroken by the recent allegations made by current and former Rockstar Cheer athletes and other cheering gyms in our community,” she said in a statement released this week. “I hope survivors seek out and receive the support they need. I appreciate their stories.”

Varsity Brands President Bill Seely called the charges devastating.

“Our hearts are broken right next to yours,” he tweeted on Thursday. “The alleged conduct goes against everything the joy and dance community is meant to stand for.”

Bain Capital did not return an email seeking comment.

Scott Foster

facebook.com/RockstarCheerGreenville


The Rockstar Cheer name is featured on more than a dozen gyms in South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Arizona.

Ten of the gyms said in a statement this week that they had no connection with Foster and would drop the Rockstar brand name.

Foster opened his Greenville gym in 2007, according to his website. He said he joined the University of Louisville cheer squad, where he won three National Tag Team Championships.

“I’m still a very competitive person by nature and coaching gives me that competitive thrill,” Foster wrote on the website. “There is no greater satisfaction than coaching and making a difference in the lives of young people.”

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