NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Attorneys for alleged church sex abuse victims filed a subpoena for financial documents and other records from the Gayle and Tom Benson Charitable Foundation just days before Saints owner Gayle Benson released a statement saying she was sickened by the suggestion she would give money to the Catholic Church to pay for sex abuse settlements.
The Plaintiff's attorneys want to know if the foundation helped the Archdiocese of New Orleans fund any church sex abuse settlements. Those attorneys filed the subpoena last week for financial records and other documents from the foundation.
Just 4 days after that subpoena was filed, Benson released a statement saying, "neither Tom Benson nor myself, or any of our organizations have ever contributed nor will ever make payments to the Catholic Church to pay settlements or legal awards of any kind, let alone this issue. To suggest that I would offer money to the Catholic Church to pay for anything related to the clergy-molestation issue sickens me.”
Benson’s statement comes as the Associated Press continues its fight to have emails between the Saints and the Archdiocese of New Orleans made public.
The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests or SNAP responded to Benson’s statement Monday.
“Why is she spending a fortune to her attorneys to fight getting those emails and documents kept private it doesn’t make sense to me. It doesn’t make sense to anybody,” Kevin Bourgeois with SNAP New Orleans said.
In a statement Tuesday, the Plaintiff’s Attorneys who filed the subpoena said, “Archbishop Gregory Aymond stated that he could turn to ‘benefactors’ to help him pay sexual abuse claims. We are simply following the legal process to see if he has turned to his biggest benefactor Gayle Marie Benson. It’s odd that she is sickened by the thought of herself being one of the very benefactors Aymond described.”
We reached out to the Saints as well as the Archdiocese of New Orleans about this story but they have not yet returned our requests for comment.