A lawsuit has been filed against a prominent South Carolina-based cheerleading company as well as its posthumous founder who recently died by suicide amidst sexual assault allegations.
On Aug. 22, 2022, 49-year-old Scott Foster, the owner and co-founder of Rockstar Cheer, was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside his own vehicle at Paris Mountain State Park.
Less than a week later, three law firms in Greenville, Columbia, and Charleston said they were representing clients who were exploited and sexually abused by the deceased cheerleading coach, according to the Greenville News.
On Tuesday, the first of many such anticipated lawsuits against Foster and his surviving business was filed by the law firms of Chappell, Smith & Arden, PA, and Bannister, Wyatt & Stalvey, LLC.
The 14-page complaint filed in the South Carolina Court of Common Pleas uses John Doe and Jane Doe aliases for the plaintiff child and her family members in order “to protect” the plaintiffs’ privacy. This is being done, the lawsuit says, “as they all incurred injuries and damages of a sensitive nature due to Defendants’ reckless, grossly negligent, and negligent acts and failures.”
Since Foster is dead, the lawsuit is seeking to obtain damages from his estate, the extant Rockstar organization, a non-profit student athletics standards and coaches’ credentialing organization, the governing organization for “Varsity All Star” competitions, and a background check company used by the non-profit.
The original petition contains a general allegation that Foster, who founded Rockstar in 2007 with his wife, abused his position of authority over several different gyms to sexually abuse children.
“Foster, in his capacity as coach was given custody and supervision of minors, including [Jane Doe]” the filing says. “Foster used this position to coerce children to concede to his sexual suggestions, using his authority and position of trust to exploit them physically, sexually, and emotionally.”
The complaint notes that Rockstar owns and operates 16 separate facilities “under an unknown business organization and structure” throughout the country. The original location was in Greenville County, but the organization spread to include numerous teams elsewhere, the paperwork indicates.
The specific allegations concern an inappropriate relationship between Foster and Jane Doe that largely was said to have depended on social media:
Over the course of over a year, beginning in early 2020, Foster began to take an interest in Plaintiff upon her promotion to the top tier team within Rockstar. Over the next 6 months, Foster had multiple communications with Plaintiff, primarily through Snapchat, that included messages of a sexual nature, nude pictures of himself and requests for nude pictures of Plaintiff. Plaintiff provided nude pictures to Foster via Snapchat.
“Over the following year on at least ten occasions, [Jane Doe] was persuaded into performing various sexual acts including oral and penetrative sex with Foster,” the lawsuit continues. “These acts occurred at Foster’s home, in Foster’s vehicle, Rockstar’s facility, at hotels during competitions, and in both South Carolina and Florida. During multiple of these occasions, [Jane Doe] was provided alcohol by Foster in an effort to further persuade [Jane Doe] to perform sexual acts with him.”
The filing contains eight separate causes of action, including battery and fraud, most of which are leveled against Foster and Rockstar.
Additionally, the United States All Star Federation, Varsity Spirit LLC, and The National Center for Safety Initiatives LLC are being sued on various theories of vicarious liability because they allegedly “knew or should have known that Foster had and was capable of sexually, physically, and mentally abusing [Jane Doe] and/or other victims.”
The USASF released a statement on its website on Tuesday addressing the allegations; it reads, in relevant part:
The US All Star Federation (USASF), a membership organization for competitive cheer and dance, is devastated to learn of allegations about potential abuse of All Star athletes in South Carolina and potentially other areas as well. Our organization is dedicated to athlete safety, in all aspects, and has created a strong foundation that relies on athletes, coaches, event producers, and parents to report allegations of prohibited conduct affecting members at events and facilities where our members are present. We respect the central role of law enforcement in investigating such reports, as part of our commitment to a safe environment for all our members.
Supporting USASF members is a priority. We will not comment on allegations or developments associated with this matter to allow law enforcement to appropriately investigate the allegations. We are continuing our efforts to promote safety for all of our members and help them understand that they should report any allegations to law enforcement as well as to USASF.
Law&Crime reached out to the other groups and organization named in the lawsuit for comment on this story, but no response was immediately forthcoming as of the time of publication.
Read the full filing below:
[image via screengrab/WHNS]
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