According to court documents obtained by ESPN, boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya was accused of sexual assault in a civil lawsuit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles against him and his tequila brand, Casa Mexico.
According to the filing, a woman who was a former employee of Casa Mexico alleges that De La Hoya sexually harassed and assaulted her on two different occasions. The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court against Casa Mexico, company executives Michael Gooch and Robert Crossan, as well as DV Capital Partners and De La Hoya.
Casa Mexico, according to the filing, organized a company celebration in March 2020 in Mexico to visit the brand’s distillery. According to the former employee, on her first evening there, she suddenly heard of De La Hoya knocking on her hotel room door.Embed from Getty Images
She says that when she opened the door, she saw De La Hoya with his trousers down to his ankles. He allegedly pushed his way into her room and climbed into her bed, she says. The woman managed to push him out of her bed and walked him back to his room, according to the suit.
When De La Hoya did not appear for a scheduled meeting to tour the distillery the following morning, the woman claims she went to his room to wake him up and claims De La Hoya snatched her into his bed and sexually assaulted her.
The woman says she informed executives at Casa Mexico, but they took no action to discipline De La Hoya. According to the complaint, she feared retaliation from the company if she disclosed the alleged abuse.
“With the 24-hour news cycle we all find ourselves in, more often than not, malicious and unjust accusations are interpreted as truth without the evidence to support their erroneous claims,” De La Hoya said in a statement. “I am confident my legal team will resolve this matter and prove my innocence.”Embed from Getty Images
Along with sexual harassment and battery claims, the lawsuit alleges gender discrimination, wrongful termination, and negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Casa Mexico sued the woman and the company’s founder, Eric Gerardo Leyva-Buccio, in December for breach of fiduciary duty. The case is still pending.
De La Hoya, 49, is a former Olympic gold medalist and six-division champion. He was one of his generation’s most popular boxers. De La Hoya, a Los Angeles native and dual citizen of the United States and Mexico, retired in 2008 following a loss to Manny Pacquiao.
He was scheduled to return to the ring last year but was forced to withdraw due to a COVID-19 illness. He has since stated that he will not return.