An Illinois Appellate Court breathed new life into a petition by Chicago Bears legend Richard Dent to learn the identities of the anonymous individuals who he claims published defamatory statements about him. According to Dent’s Illinois Supreme Court Rule 224 petition, these defamatory statements ultimately cost Dent and his business a marketing contract with the energy supplier Constellation NewEnergy.
Dent played as a defensive end in the NFL from 1983-1997, including 12 seasons with the Chicago Bears. He was the MVP in the Bears’ 1985 Super Bowl victory, and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011. Also named as a petitioner in the case was Dent’s company, RLD Resources, which Dent founded after his football career ended.
According to the petition, three unidentified people allegedly defamed Dent by accusing him of groping a woman and engaging in drunken behavior. These allegedly defamatory comments prompted an investigation by Constellation that ultimately caused the company to terminate its contractual arrangements with Dent.
The case dates back to September 2018 when two attorneys representing the energy supplier visited Dent’s office and told him that certain allegations had been made against him. Specifically, they allegedly told Dent, a female Constellation employee had accused Dent of making inappropriate sexual comments to her and groping her at two separate Constellation-sponsored events.
The attorneys also informed Dent that a man complained to Constellation that he had observed Dent at a hotel in Chicago collecting materials for a Constellation-sponsored event and that Dent was drunk and disorderly at that time. The attorneys refused to reveal the identities of these individuals but informed Dent that they would be reviewing the energy supplier’s contracts with Dent based on these allegations. In October 2018, Constellation sent Dent and his company a notice that it was terminating all contracts with them. Continue reading ›