- Mel Tucker and his lawyers have been hit with an emergency injunction
- They are no longer allowed to release text messages from Brenda Tracy
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Fired Michigan State University football coach Mel Tucker and his attorneys have been hit with an emergency injunction that temporarily bars them from releasing any more text messages sent to him by the woman accusing him of sexual harassment.
Brenda Tracy, a well-known rape survivor and victims’ rights advocate, recently accused Tucker of sexual harassment after she started talking to the Spartans team in 2021. USA Today reports that Tracy claims Tucker sent her gifts, made unwanted sexual comments and masturbated without her consent during a phone call. Tracy visited the university twice in 2021 and 2022 to speak to the football team about preventing sexual misconduct, the report states, and was even named an honorary captain of the team.
Tucker was investigated by the school, placed on leave and ultimately fired by Michigan State, which terminated the remainder of his 10-year, $95 million contract last month.
He responded to the allegations Thursday by publishing 98 pages of heavily redacted text messages between Tracy and her best friend, Ahlan Alvarado, who reportedly died in a car crash in June. Tucker and his attorneys claim the messages contain “newly discovered evidence” that discredits Tracy’s allegations.
Tucker, who is married but reportedly estranged from his wife, also released a letter claiming he was in a relationship with Tracy and that the two had consensual phone sex.
Mel Tucker and his lawyers have been hit with an emergency injunction
Tracy is a sexual assault survivor and speaks to teams, like Michigan State, about consent
“The actions of Mel Tucker and his legal team have placed me in a position where I must protect the lives and confidential information of third parties unrelated to this case,” Tracy said. The Detroit Free Press in an emailed statement.
“It is disturbing to me that the man who abused me has access to every intimate detail of my life, my business and my nonprofit organization, through my best friend’s phone,” Tracy’s statement continued. “I deeply grieve for my friend who does not deserve this horrific betrayal by someone close to her, and I am angry about the gross violation of my privacy and hers.”
Judge James S. Jamo granted the motion Friday, saying Tracy has shown the need to stop Tucker and his attorneys from causing her irreparable harm by releasing the text messages.
“(The) protected, personal, private and sensitive business information relating to sexual assault survivors and employees… was collected in violation of Michigan law,” according to a copy of the ruling obtained by USA Today.
Alvarado, who worked for Tracy’s nonprofit, was a witness in the sexual harassment case against Tucker before he was killed in the aforementioned car crash in June.
Their text messages contained “highly sensitive information about other survivors and their families,” Tracy said in Friday’s affidavit.
It remains unclear how Tucker’s team obtained the text messages.
The restraining order applies until October 17.
Michigan State coach Mel Tucker, in black, leads his team onto the field for their opener
Tucker’s attorneys have asked university officials and representatives to preserve all documents related to the investigation “pending litigation” against the school.
Attorney Jennifer Belveal sent the request to Michigan General Counsel Brian Quinn last month after what she called the “illegal termination of Mel Tucker’s contract.” Belveal wanted to preserve electronic and paper records and listed a number of school officials and others.
It came a day after Michigan State fired the previously suspended Tucker for what he described as consensual phone sex with an activist and rape survivor.
The school said it terminated Tucker’s remaining $95 million, 10-year contract for admitting actions that derided the institution, breached his contract and caused moral turpitude. Michigan State said Tucker failed to provide adequate reasons why he should not be dismissed for cause.