'Cheer' Star Jerry Harris Sued for Alleged Sexual Abuse of Minors
The breakout star from the Netflix cheerleading docuseries Cheer is being sued.
Two 14-year-old twin brothers have claimed that Jerry Harris wrote them messages of a sexually explicit nature on social media, asked them for nude pictures, and sought oral sex from one, threatening "imminent physical bodily injury without [the boy's] consent," according to Entertainment Weekly. On Monday, a petition was filed with the District Court of Tarrant County in Texas.
The boys were reportedly "star struck" when, as 13-year-olds, they met Harris, one of the Navarro College Bulldogs Cheer Team members featured in the popular show. He allegedly had them stay in contact "in person, by phone, and via social media," according to the suit. It claims that he "violated his role as a mentor, trainer, coach, sexually violated the Plaintiffs, and used his position of authority and power over the Plaintiffs." The suit comes following a report from USA Today about the FBI investigating claims of "inappropriate sexual conduct" by Harris.
The plaintiffs are seeking more than $1 million in damages for, they allege,"medical and psychological treatment, therapy, and counseling" due to the "great pain of mind and body, shock, emotional distress, physical manifestations of emotional distress including embarrassment, loss of self-esteem, disgrace, humiliations, and loss of enjoyment of life."
A spokesperson for Harris said in a statement to People: "We categorically dispute the claims made against Jerry Harris, which are alleged to have occurred when he was a teenager. We are confident that when the investigation is completed, the true facts will be revealed."
According to the plaintiffs' attorney John Manly, the twins' mother says she reported Harris to United States All Star Federation, Inc., to Varsity Spirit, and to Cheer Athletics (he worked in some capacity for each, and all three are named in the suit) and gave "evidentiary proof of the manipulation, sexual harassment, and exploitation that her sons had suffered." She also gave that information to the Fort Worth Police Department and the FBI.