LSU football coach Ed Orgeron denied through a school spokesman Friday that he spoke directly with a 74-year great-grandmother who was sexually harassed by LSU’s then-star running back Derrius Guice while she worked as a security guard at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in December 2017.
At a state Senate Select Committee on Women and Children on Friday, a tearful Gloria Scott described the incident in detail. She also said Orgeron in a phone call to her that was witnessed by her granddaughter tried to defuse the incident by asking her for forgiveness on behalf of Guice.
If true, it would be in direct contrast to what Orgeron told investigators from the Texas-based law firm Husch Blackwell hired by LSU to investigate the school’s sordid history of mishandling Title IX allegations, especially those concerning sexual violence and harassment committed by LSU football players.
The report said Orgeron told Husch Blackwell’s investigators that he didn’t have “any direct communication with the alleged victim.” Orgeron said that senior associate athletic director Miriam Segar informed him of the incident and that Segar, executive deputy director of athletics Verge Ausberry and a Taylor Porter attorney hired by the university conducted “an investigation.”
“Coach O is telling a lie,” Scott said as tears rolled down her cheeks. “He’s not telling the truth. I don’t have no reason to lie. I know who I was talking to. He knows he talked to me.”
LSU athletics spokesman Cody Worsham in a statement on Friday denied Orgeron ever spoke to Scott.
“As detailed in the Husch Blackwell report, Coach Orgeron never had any direct communications with the complainant,” Worsham said. “He has and will continue to follow university protocols regarding reporting.”
An emotional Scott told the committee Friday of the Guice incident when she was at her security post in the Superdome in December 2017 for the LHSAA state football championships.
Guice and several other young men approached her and Guice then repeatedly sexually harassed her, Scott said, telling her “I want you to f— me.”
The Husch Blackwell report said Guice told Scott “likes older women,” asked if he would have sex with him, pointed at his crotch and grabbed himself in front of her saying “older women are my thing” and they could” just go off and do it somewhere.”
A story published Friday after Scott was interviewed earlier by USA Today had more troubling and vivid detail, especially when Scott told Guice she was a grandmother and asked him to show her respect.
“‘Young man, respect me,’” Scott recalled saying. “‘I am a grandmother, and I have grandkids. How would you like somebody to talk to your grandmother this way and handle this like that?’ I said, ‘My grandsons are not like this.’ And he told me, ‘F— your grandsons. They don’t know nothing, you and I are going to the hotel so I could f— you.’”
Scott told the Senate committee that she “was so hurt and so nervous and so upset, never in my life have I had a man or child talk to me like he did.”
After she reported the incident to LSU because she wanted Guice suspended for the Tigers’ then-upcoming Citrus Bowl game, Scott said Orgeron called her to try to gain her forgiveness.
She said Guice was apparently in the room with Orgeron during the phone call and recalled Orgeron telling her Guice was a “troubled child,” that he was “just kidding ” and asked her to “please forgive him.”
She said Orgeron told her he would be in contact with her again regarding punishment for Guice, but he didn’t.
She said Ausberry and Segar, the only two LSU officials to be reprimanded for mishandling sexual harassment allegations, later told Scott her request for Guice to be benched for the Citrus Bowl “would never happen,” Scott said.
A long line of legislators were infuriated Friday after Scott’s testimony.
State Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, D-New Orleans who is running for Congress, intensely questioned the attorney for LSU’s Board of Supervisors on Orgeron’s claims.
“We will speak to Ms. Scott and speak to Coach O and we’ll get you an answer,” the attorney, Winston Decuir, said. “If he lied, we’ll deal with Coach O.”
State lawmakers on the committee demanded Orgeron testify. He did not appear Friday in the hearing that lasted more than seven hours.
LSU athletics director Scott Woodward, who was scheduled to appear, is expected to testify at a subsequent hearing.