It must have seemed like a dream job at the time, working on the beat-up gladiator bodies of NFL stars. But the summer didn't pan out the way Shannon O'Toole and Christina Scavo had hoped.
Both were humiliated and left without work after Brett Favre tried to hit on them via text messages and they rebuffed him, according to a lawsuit filed yesterday in Manhattan Superior Court.
O'Toole got Scavo an introduction to the team through its massage coordinator, Lisa Ripi. The women charged between $500 and $600 a day, and their talents were in high demand, not only at the Jets training camp in New Jersey and on Long Island, but also at players' homes.
"Everything at the Jets went through me," when it came time for rubdowns, Ripi said in the court papers.
That included meeting the needs of the Jets' new rock-star quarterback, Brett Favre, who had retired from the Green Bay Packers the year before. It didn't take long for the gunslinger to set his sights on the two women.
"Brett here you and crissy want to get together im alone," he asked in stunted text lingo.
And then, "Kinda lonely tonight I guess I have bad intentions."
Bad judgment, too. The massage therapist showed the message to Scavo, who is married. And Scavo showed the messages to her husband, Joseph. He was pissed off enough to contact Favre personally and tell him to knock it off with the "bad intentions" invites.
He also wanted an apology, which he didn't get. And his wife, along with O'Toole, never got another call for business from the Jets again.
It was two years after that episode, in the summer of 2010, that rumors about the then-unnamed harassed massage therapists circulated in the press, adding spice to the saucy details of Favre's pursuit of the team's sideline host, Jenn Sterger. And Ripi, the enforcer, saw red.
"Why didn't you come to me?" she asked via text. "Your husband is a complete asshole. Thanks to you ill be questioned by the nfl investigators...""There are ways to handle things in a professional manner and ways to be compensated not in pulic," she added, and then made it sound like their experience was just part of doing business with the Jets.
"I've been up there 13 yrs without anything that happened to me on tmz ... cuz was handled internally the way it shd be," she said, and stood by her trashing of Scavo's husband. "He is what he ... and I won't take that back."
Ripi was none too happy that Scavo had held on to the evidence, either: "Holding on to texts for two years is questionable as far as ur intention and not telling anyone about it."
Then the telephone abuse started to O'Toole.
"Chrissy and you will never work for the Jets again," she said. "Keep your mouth shut."
Even so, in subsequent text messages, Ripi didn't sound like she was disputing the allegations against Favre: "For sure feel horrible that u had to go thru that w a pervert ... however I truly wish u wldve came forward at the time it happened."
Now it's Ripi, Favre, and the Jets that need help. After Scavo and O'Toole lost their gigs, and the NFL gave Favre a $50,000 slap on the wrist following months of investigation into the Sterger story, the pair announced their lawsuit against all three--the day after Favre said he was retiring for good.
The sexual harassment suit said the defendants supported a hostile work environment and violated New York's human rights laws. It seeks unspecified damages.
Now that O'Toole and Scavo have filed suit, can there be any doubt that Jenn Sterger will follow?
The Favre File:
- Jenn Sterger claims Brett Favre penis pictures
- Deadspin says it will publish Brett Favre penis pics
- Brett Favre's penis revealed by Deadspin (Warning: Graphic photos)
- Jenn Sterger lawyers up
- Jenn Sterger threatens to go public on Brett Favre
- Favre disciplined by NFL in sext case
- Sterger's lawyer: NFL's Favre decision "an affront to all females"
- Massage therapists sue Favre: Scavo and O'Toole accuse QB of sexual harassment