On Thursday, it was announced that the Chicago Bears are being sued along with defensive end Mario Edwards Jr.
According to the story by the Chicago Sun-Times’s Patrick Finley, Joann Blakney filed a civil complaint in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina on October 14, 2021, which was obtained by the Sun-Times. The lawsuit is accusing Edwards of assault, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, as well as accusing the Bears organization of negligent supervision and defamation. A Hilton Charlotte City Center security guard is also being sued for negligence.
The lawsuit alleges that the incidents in the team hotel took place the night before the Bears played the Carolina Panthers on October 18, 2020. According to the complaint, Blakney alleges that after she had consensual oral sex with Edwards he requested sex, “giving her a bear hug and trying to put his hand down her pants”, according to the complaint. She then told him that she was pregnant and that she wouldn’t be having sex with him.
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Blakney then claims that after she refused, Edwards hit her when she began recording him with her phone and proceeded to yank her off her the bed and “twisted her nails back toward her wrist.” Blakney then punched Edwards to free herself.
After freeing herself, Blakney went to the hotel lobby where she spoke with the security guard, Jeffrey Burton. After asking Burton for help, Blakney alleges that instead of calling the police, Burton instead brought in four unnamed Bears officials to speak with her. According to the story, “one unnamed Bears official, she claimed, said loudly that she was a prostitute.”
Blakney and Edwards first met nine years ago, according to the report. Blakney has also accused Edwards and the Bears of failing to follow Covid-19 protocols.
According to the story, the NFL conducted an offseason investigation into the incident at the hotel and opted to not punish Edwards as a result.
According to the Chicago Tribune, “an NFL spokesperson said in an email earlier this month that the league had completed an investigation that involved ‘interviews with relevant people and personnel and a review of related documents from law enforcement.’ The league notified the Bears and Edwards in July that ‘there was insufficient evidence to support a finding that there was a violation of the Personal Conduct Policy.'”
The Bears signed Edwards to a three-year, $11.5 million extension in March, 2021. During the 2020 season, Edwards appeared in 15 games for the Bears recording 4 sacks, 11 solo tackles, 6 assists, and 6 tackles for a loss. So far in the 2021 season, Edwards has appeared in 7 games recording 1.5 sacks with 2 solo tackles and 5 assists, 1 tackle for loss.
According to the Sun-Times, the Bears declined to comment.
— Patrick Finley (@patrickfinley) November 18, 2021