A former attendee of Joe Namath’s football camps in the 1970s has filed a lawsuit against the New York Jets icon, claiming that he turned a blind eye to the sexual abuse the individual endured during those years. The accuser, Philip Lyle Smith, 64, alleges that he was victimized by Philip Foglietta, a former football coach at Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn, who had been involved with Namath’s camps.
Smith’s attorney, Arthur Middlemiss, stated that Foglietta subjected Smith to a “continuous course of sexual conduct,” including grooming and oral sexual conduct, among other forms of abuse. Namath and his co-defendants, John Dockery (a former Jets defensive back) and Nichols College (site of the camps), are all named in the lawsuit as parties who should have noticed warning signs of the abuse and intervened. The camps were run by Namath and Dockery under the company Pro Camps Ltd, which is also listed as a defendant.
The lawsuit was initially filed in December 2019 but has been delayed due to the backlog of sexual abuse cases in New York courts caused by changes in the statute of limitations. The defendants are challenging the suit, questioning Smith’s right to sue in New York since the alleged abuse occurred in Vermont and Massachusetts.
Smith, who initially filed the lawsuit anonymously as “John Doe,” recently revealed his identity in the hopes that it would encourage others to come forward and begin their own healing process. Foglietta, who passed away in 1998, was accused of sexually abusing students at Poly Prep, leading to a separate lawsuit against the school.
Joe Namath, John Dockery, and representatives for Nichols College did not respond to requests for comment. If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, contact the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or visit their online chat service for support.
Q: Who is Philip Lyle Smith?
Philip Lyle Smith is the individual who filed a lawsuit accusing Joe Namath of ignoring the sexual abuse Smith endured at Namath’s football camps in the 1970s.
Q: Who is Philip Foglietta?
Philip Foglietta was a former football coach at Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn who allegedly sexually abused Philip Lyle Smith during the football camps organized by Joe Namath.
Q: Why did Smith file the lawsuit?
Smith filed the lawsuit to seek justice for the abuse he claims to have suffered and to encourage others to come forward and share their stories.
Q: What are the defendants challenging in the lawsuit?
The defendants are questioning Smith’s right to sue in New York and whether Namath and Dockery are the proper defendants in their individual capacities, as well as raising jurisdictional concerns as the camps took place in Vermont and Massachusetts.