James Dolan has once again found himself with legal problems. His decision to ban lawyers who represented a group of ticket resellers who sued the New York Knicks team owner — a suit that was dismissed in spring 2023 — currently has Madison Square Garden’s liquor license in jeopardy. A new suit against Dolan, has accused him of sexual misconduct, sex trafficking, and linked to convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein.
A woman put her name on a lawsuit — Kellye Croft — that accused Dolan of pressuring her into sex that she did not want, per the New York Times. This allegedly happened while he and his band, JD and the Straight Shot, were on tour with the Eagles in 2013. Croft stated in the suit that she was hired to be the masseuse for Glenn Frey, but was allowed to schedule with other clients. She claims that she was “adamant” to Dolan that she did want to have a sexual relationship with him but was still pressured into doing so. It happened several other times because she felt “obligated to do so.”
Also, according to the lawsuit, Dolan invited Croft in early 2014 to the Los Angeles leg of the tour which is where she met Weinstein. She alleges that Weinstein invited her to his hotel room, and made her feel uncomfortable. After leaving, Weinstein allegedly walked her down, barged into her room, and forcibly penetrated her. Per the suit, what stopped him was a call that Croft received from Dolan, and he later told her that Weinstein is “a troubled person.” She is suing Dolan for sex trafficking, and both of them for “sexual assault and forcible touching.”
Attorneys for both Dolan and Weinstein have denied the accusations. Dolan has been on the record that he was not aware of the disgraced Hollywood executive’s crimes, and even wrote a song about it. The last time that Dolan found himself in court due for a sexual harassment case, 2007, it did not go well for him.
In 2006, when Anucha Browne Sanders sued Isiah Thomas and MSG for sexual harassment and retaliation, a jury ruled in favor Browne Sanders. Not only that, but the $11-plus million that she was awarded was to be paid out by Madison Square Garden and Dolan, personally, for creating a hostile work environment and unjustly terminating her.
What came out of that trial, besides a judgment in Browne Sanders’ favor, was the revelation of a toxic culture with the New York Knicks and MSG. A low-level employee — Hassan Gonsalves — had been fired for sexual harassment after accusations by multiple female employees. Also, in 2007, Madison Square Garden settled a lawsuit from former New York Rangers cheerleading captain — Courtney Prince — alleging sexual harassment, and retaliation less than a month after the conclusion of the Browne Sanders case.
That was supposed to be the bad old days. Back when people like Weinstein operated in the dark, but yet also out in the open. Now, more than 15 years after Dolan and his company were forced to pay millions in a trial that brought international shame to himself, MSG, the Knicks and the Rangers, he has again been named in a lawsuit that alleges sexual misconduct. The allegations this time are directed at him, as opposed to him overseeing an out of control organization.
If nothing else, Dolan cannot keep his company, his buildings, his teams, his company, away from high-profile lawsuits. Which is all concrete evidence that he has been awful at his day job for a long time.