WASHINGTON - Following trouble allegations brought forward by former Washington Redskins cheerleaders about a trip to Costa Rica for a photo shoot in 2013, FOX 5’s Annie Yu shared her experiences from when she was a cheerleader with the team.
Five former cheerleaders came forward in a New York Times report published Wednesday stating they were forced to pose topless during a calendar shoot in front of male sponsors and also forced to act as their personal escorts.
Team president Bruce Allen said in a statement Thursday that team officials have had dialogue with a number of current and former cheerleaders and have "heard very different firsthand accounts that directly contradict many of the details" of the article. Allen says the Redskins "will continue to take all necessary measures to create a safe and respectful work environment for their cheerleaders” and if the investigation shows any employees acted inappropriately, "those employees will face significant repercussions."
Annie, who was a cheerleader with the Redskins from 2008 to 2010, said her experiences with the team were only positive and professional.
“They took safety very seriously, just from my personal experience,” Annie explained. “I never felt threatened in any situation. We did suite visits because that was a big thing because you obviously want to mingle with the fans. So when we did suite visits you always have a group of people including a Redskins front office member, security, no touching. Of course, you have rowdy fans, the alcohol is flowing and everyone is having a good time but they made sure that no one could even touch your arm. If you take pictures, you have a security guard right there.”
Annie said her sources and former cheerleaders who were on the 2013 trip told her a different story. Annie’s sources told her the cheerleaders had a choice between an open or closed set for the photo session and had the option whether to attend the night outing or not.
According to Annie, her sources say the never felt there would be repercussions if they opted for a closed set or if they declined to attend the night outing.
“Some of my sources directly contradict the claims that are being made,” Annie said.
Though there may be conflicting reports coming out to the situation, Annie said the allegations must be taken seriously and fully investigated.
“I never felt unsafe, but that is my personal experience, so like a lot of you I was stunned by the allegations,” Annie explained. “From day one I felt these are very serious allegations and if any of them are true, I will be deeply hurt and disturbed by it because that’s not the experience I had and I would be very disappointed.”
In the video player above, watch Annie’s full interview on Good Day DC.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.