By Anne Ryman and Craig Harris |The Republic
Former University of Arizona head football coach Rich Rodriguez claims an ex-employee and her attorney tried to extort several million dollars from him, and threatened to go public with claims of sexual harassment and an extramarital affair if he didn’t pay.
Rodriguez, fired in January as a lurid sex-harassment claim against him became public, accuses his ex-assistant, Melissa Wilhelmsen, of fabricating a tale of sexual harassment solely to extort $7.5 million — the same amount she now is seeking in a legal claim with the state.
Attorneys for Rodriguez on Monday submitted a legal response to a notice of claim that was filed against the coach earlier this year with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. Notices of claim are often precursors to lawsuits.
‘Multiple million dollars’