An NBA championship ring, a signed ball and a custom jersey are all bright spots, Melissa Weishaupt says during an otherwise toxic four year career in the Dallas Mavericks front office.
“I had these horrible migraines and I started seeing a doctor about it because I just didn't know what was happening,” said Weishaupt.
She worked in marketing for the Mavs starting in 2010. She claims the former CEO, Terdema Ussery, would ask her sexually explicit questions and make lewd comments about her body, claims Ussery denies.
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There was one time, she says, when she shot back. “I made like a flip, smart-aleck comment and he laughed and he walked off. My boss turned and looked at me and said, 'Don't you ever be a smart-aleck to the CEO.' I said, 'Are you kidding me? The CEO just made a comment about my breasts and I'm supposed to take it?'"
She says the harassment for her was all verbal but she claims other women in her workplace were subjected to touching. “Like the sniffing of the hair, the rubbing of the shoulders, the rubbing of the leg.”
Weishaupt says that she went to human resources but that her claims were ignored.
"It was a brush off," said Weishaupt.
In 2014 she got another job and quit. But in the last few months, she spoke on the record as part of an internal investigation ordered by owner, Mark Cuban which Wednesday reconfirmed, “numerous instances of sexual harassment and other improper workplace conduct.” Cuban agreed to donate $10 million to organizations that support women.
In an interview with ESPN Wednesday, Cuban said, "it was staring me right in the face and I missed it. I think I wasn't as focused on the business as I should have been."
Weishaupt says she is skeptical of that. “Did he not see it or did he turn his head to it? Did he not want to see it? I think there's a lot of things to that message.”
Regardless, Weishaupt says she will not seek legal action against the Mavericks. “A lot of people have said, 'oh, are you suing?’ I am not suing the Mavs, let's everybody take a deep breath, that has never been my intention.” She says she is speaking out in hopes of making things a little better for other women in the workplace.
A seven-month investigation into sexual harassment and workplace misconduct allegations within the Dallas Mavericks organization was released Wednesday afternoon confirming "numerous instances of sexual harassment and other improper workplace conduct within the Mavericks organization" over two decades.
Key among the findings were allegations of improper workplace conduct toward 15 female employees by the Mavericks’ former President and CEO Terdema Ussery, including inappropriate comments, touching and forcible kissing, and allegations of improper workplace conduct by former Mavericks ticket sales employee Chris Hyde.
Hyde's inappropriate conduct was said to include inappropriate comments to women of a sexual nature, the viewing and sharing of pornographic images and videos, unsolicited and unwanted sexual advances, and violent and threatening outbursts toward co-workers.
Additionally, there were two acts of domestic violence allegedly perpetrated by former Mavs.com reporter Earl Sneed, including one against a team employee.