Ross Lyon is yet to explain himself.
Ross Lyon is yet to explain himself.

AFL sex harassment video twist

VIDEO has emerged of Fremantle's boozy club function where Dockers coach Ross Lyon is accused of acting inappropriately towards a female employee.

It follows preliminary reports Fremantle's board of directors held an emergency meeting on Wednesday night to discuss Lyon's future.

Veteran Perth reporter Tim Gossage told SEN Breakfast on Thursday there are rumours the club will make an announcement at 9am (local time) to address rumours Lyon's coaching tenure will be discontinued.

"My phone went off three times last night from 6pm and said there's an off-site board meeting as we speak to discuss the future of Ross Lyon," Gossage said.

"I'm not saying that happened, but it just won't go away and to brutally honest, it's not being driven by us in Western Australia, we know nothing, it's almost being driven by the media coming out of Melbourne.

"Yesterday at training he was up and about, he was relaxed, David Mundy spoke about his demeanour and his commitment to the cause.

"I don't know what to believe. I don't know who to believe and to be brutally honest something could happen at 9am this morning, you just don't know."

He said he'd be "gobsmacked" if Lyon does not continue as coach of the club.

"There were rumours a few days ago that Ross Lyon would be gone within 48 hours, my attitude is that's not going to happen, but it just won't go away," he said.

"I'd be gobsmacked if Ross Lyon is not going to be the coach for the rest of the year and going forward."

It follows a bombshell report the club organised a hush-money payment of more than $100,000 to a former female staff member which included a non-disclosure agreement, to settle a sexual harassment complaint.

It has also been reported Lyon told the woman he liked the her "budding boobs" during the function. The woman was two-months pregnant.

She has previously claimed she was made to feel sexually harassed by Lyon when the 51-year-old reportedly followed her throughout the event and made a series of inappropriate and crude remarks.

The report claims Lyon was not the first person to report the incident to the club - claiming a female Dockers staff member was the first to inform club officials about Lyon's behaviour.

It is alleged the club investigated the incident after the woman gave a formal statement.

Lyon reportedly apologised to the woman after the investigation was concluded. It is unclear if any further action was taken by the club.

One of the most eye-catching claims in the report alleges the woman continued to feel harassed and singled out by other unidentified Fremantle staff following Lyon's apology, prompting her resignation.

It is only then that the woman reportedly made a second complaint, prompting the AFL integrity unit's own investigation.

 

Ross Lyon has a real fight on his hands.
Ross Lyon has a real fight on his hands.

It is claimed the woman settled her complaint against the club when a payment of more than $100,000 was made around Christmas time.

However, she continues to feel aggrieved by the way the scandal unfolded under the care of the AFL.

On Thursday The Herald Sun reported video taken at the function captured things said to the woman "in private" conversations on the same night Lyon allegedly harassed the former Dockers staff member.

The report claims a source close to the case saying: "What was said was said in private and is on record. There is video evidence of what happened".

Another source said: "You couldn't ask for any more sufficient evidence".

The footage also reportedly rubbishes early claims the woman had changed into a more revealing outfit after work before the function.

The video evidence reportedly shows the woman dressed in the same clothes she wore to work that day.

Lyon has previously refused to answer questions surrounding the scandal - and again on Wednesday night refused to confirm he is the Fremantle staff member at the centre of the scandal.

Lyon spoke publicly for the first time last week saying the club has acted reasonably within the AFL's respect and responsibility policy, refusing to comment further.

Lyon is still refusing to comment about the incident, with the club hopeful they can ride through the drama without further damage.

His refusal to address the reports which have identified him as the Fremantle official at the centre of a concluded integrity unit investigation comes after AFL boss Gillon McLachlan came under fire from footy commentators recently for declaring the league is comfortable with hush money being used in harassment cases when a settlement is reached.

 

Dockers coach Ross Lyon has refused to comment.
Dockers coach Ross Lyon has refused to comment.

In an interview with Channel 7 on Tuesday Lyon again insisted his team remains focused on playing football despite the storm surrounding the club's handling of the harassment complaint.

"I can't control the media and what's been written and said," Lyon replied when asked if he felt the level of attention had been warranted.

"My focus is on coaching our team well, giving them strong leadership and direction, and I feel like I am doing that."

Lyon also hit back at the critics who panned his tactics from last week's AFL loss to Richmond, saying they got it wrong.

AFL great Garry Lyon said Fremantle's decision to feature a five-man forward line so they could have an extra man in defence was a poor one. The Dockers dominated the clearances (43-23) and hit-outs (57-16), but were smashed by 77 points.

Garry Lyon questioned why the Dockers coach would play five forwards against the best defence in the competition when they were winning the clearances. But Lyon challenged the critics who suggested he chose to play a seven-man defence.

Instead, he said it was a case of the forwards not doing their job well enough. "Well there was no seven-man backline," Lyon told channel 7.

"Ninety per cent of teams at centre-square bounces start an extra off the back that runs through.

"In this case I think it was Bailey Banfield at the start.

"I heard Garry Lyon's commentary, and I respect Garry, and he was right - we didn't have representation in front of the ball consistently. That's been a focus of our review.

"(But) there was no seven-man defence. It was quite inaccurate."

- with AAP

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