Saints respond to lawsuit filed by former Benson assistant

Saints respond to lawsuit filed by former Benson assistant
Mr. Benson's funeral arrangements have benn set. (FOX 8 Photo)

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A former Saints employee has expanded his lawsuit against the team to include allegations that Gayle Benson, wife of Saints owner Tom Benson, made derogatory remarks toward him and forced him out of the organization.

Rodney Henry filed a lawsuit against the Benson's in November, claiming he is owed back pay. The lawsuit says Henry was caught up in a family feud that pitted Tom and Gayle Benson against Mr. Benson's estranged relatives. It also says the Saints retaliated against Henry after he was deposed in a lawsuit questioning Tom Benson's mental health.

Tom Benson owns FOX 8, which is operated by Raycom Media.

"In response to the accusations in the amended lawsuit brought forth by Mr. Rodney Henry, we deny any wrongdoing by anyone within the organization with respect to Mr. Henry's employment.

"Just like any other employer, our organization sometimes has to make difficult decisions that are in the best interest of the company. We did so here in the matter of Mr. Henry's termination. Unfortunately, when those decisions are made, as is the case here, employees often take it personally and accuse their employers of wrongdoing in an effort to justify – in their own minds – why their employment was terminated.      

"Both Tom and Gayle Benson are extremely hurt by Mr. Henry's filing yesterday in federal court in New Orleans and the ridiculous accusations made in the filing. They had hoped that the dismissal by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of his claims would end this matter.  The Bensons considered Mr. Henry to be a part of their family, providing for him and his children for some 20 years and they are both very disappointed that he has decided to assert these accusations of harassment and discrimination. 

"Make no mistake, the Bensons and the New Orleans Saints will vigorously defend these baseless claims."

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