Former Arizona coach Rick Rodriguez claims ex-employee trying to extort $7.5 million

By Michael Dixon

Melissa Wilhelmsen, an ex-assistant of Rich Rodriguez, has filed a $7.5 sexual harassment claim against Rodriguez.

On Monday, Rodriguez’s legal team fired back, claiming that Wilhelmsen is extorting the former University of Arizona football coach.

“Attorneys for Rodriguez on Monday submitted a legal response to a notice of claim that was filed against the coach earlier this year with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office,” Anne Ryman and Craig Harris of The Republic reported. “Notices of claim are often precursors to lawsuits.”

Neither Wilhelmsen or her attorney commented on this action.

Per Ryman and Harris, the $7.5 million claim fired against Rodriguez was “accusing him of sexually harassing her and creating a hostile work environment.” While Rodriguez has admitted to having an extramarital affair, he has consistently denied any wrongdoing in the form of sexual harassment.

This situation is certainly messy and it doesn’t figure to get any less messy going forward.