Sexual assault, trafficking complaints levied against Knicks owner James Dolan from 10 years ago in California lawsuit

James Dolan sexual assault complaints
Knicks owner James Dolan takes in a game against the Sacramento Kings at Madison Square Garden in November 2019.
AP Photo/Kathy Willens

James Dolan has been included in a lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California claiming that the New York Knicks and Rangers owner sexually assaulted and trafficked a masseuse.

Mentioned alongside convicted sex offender and former film producer, Harvey Weinstein, Dolan is accused of manipulating and isolating the plaintiff, Kellye Croft, into a sexual relationship in 2013 when she was invited to serve as the masseuse for the lead singer of the Eagles, Glenn Frey. 

Per the lawsuit, Dolan was believed to be a significant source of funding for the Eagles’ tour at the time as his band, JD & The Straight Shot, were opening for the rock legends. 

Dolan then flew Croft to Los Angeles to rejoin the Eagles’ tour in January of 2014 where the masseuse believed she would continue her work for Frey. 

Instead, she was, as the complaint describes, “unlawfully trafficked… for [Dolan’s] own sexual gratification.” A few days after her arrival, she was confronted by Weinstein, who proceeded to sexually assault her after failing to convince her to give him a naked massage. 

James Dolan
James Dolan (left) with Harvey Weinstein. (Photo courtesy of UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

“I have suffered so profoundly because of what James Dolan and Harvey Weinstein did to me years ago, and it was not an easy decision to come forward and seek justice,” a statement from Croft read. ” But for me, to truly address my trauma, I need to seek accountability.  James Dolan manipulated me, brought me to California to abuse me, and then set me up for a vicious attack by Weinstein. 

“My hope is that my lawsuit will force Dolan to acknowledge what he did to me and to take responsibility for the harm he has caused.”

James Dolan Knicks
FILE – New York Knicks owner James Dolan, front right, watches the first half of an NBA basketball game March 6, 2020, at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Knicks are suing the Toronto Raptors, and a former Knicks employee Monday, Aug. 21, 2023, saying the worker stole thousands of videos and other scouting secrets to give to his new Canadian employer. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

Croft also alleges that Dolan had known about Weinstein’s history of assaulting and sexually abusing women. Weinstein is currently serving a 39-year sentence after being found guilty of rape and sexual assault. 

Dolan has denied any wrongdoings or knowing about Weinstein’s crimes. Madison Square Garden has yet to comment on the matter.

“There is absolutely no merit to any of the allegations against Mr. Dolan. Kellye Croft and James Dolan had a friendship,” Dolan’s lawyer, E. Danya Perry, said in a received by amNewYork. “The references to Harvey Weinstein are simply meant to inflame and appear to be plagiarized from prior cases against Mr. Weinstein. These claims reflect an act of retaliation by an attorney who has brought multiple cases against Mr. Dolan and has not won and cannot win, a judgment against him.

“Mr. Dolan always believed Ms. Croft to be a good person and is surprised she would agree to these claims. Bottom line, this is not a he said/she said matter and there is compelling evidence to back up our position. We look forward to proving that in court.”

Croft is being represented by attorneys Douglas H. Wigdor and Meredith A. Firetog of Wigdor LLP, Kevin Mintzer and Laura L. Koistinen of the Law Office of Kevin Mintzer, P.C., and Omar H. Bengali of Gerard Bengali, APC. 

Wigdor currently represents former Knicks forward Charles Oakley in his case against Madison Square Garden after his ejection from the venue in Feb. 2017. 

Wigdor and Mintzer have represented nine other victims of Weinstein and led the opposition against The Weinstein Company’s bankruptcy settlement.  

Former film producer Harvey Weinstein appears in court in Los Angeles, Oct. 4 2022. When New York’s Adult Survivors Act expired on Friday, Nov. 24, 2023, more than 3,700 legal claims had been filed, with many of the last few coming against big-name celebrities, such as Weinstein, and a handful of politicians.Etienne Laurent/Pool Photo via AP, File

For more on James Dolan, visit AMNY.com