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Cheerleader's sex discrimination suit going to trial

NEW YORK -- A sexual discrimination lawsuit filed by the
former captain of the New York Rangers' cheerleading squad can go
to trial, a judge ruled Monday.

U.S. District Judge Robert W. Sweet said the lawsuit by Courtney
Prince alleged comments and conduct that are "insulting, demeaning
and objectifying and could be considered severe by a reasonable
employee."

Prince said in the lawsuit, brought two years ago, that she was
fired by Madison Square Garden after she warned fellow cheerleaders
that at least one member of management was a sexual predator.

She said the New York Rangers City Skaters cheerleading squad
had been warned not to fraternize with hockey players, but was
allowed to mix with staff at the Garden.

The lawsuit, seeking unspecified damages, said MSG managers and
supervisors took some of the dozen cheerleaders to bars and
restaurants and bought alcohol for some underage cheerleaders.

Prince said she was harassed by a member of management at a bar
following a postgame party on Dec. 22, 2003. She said in the
lawsuit that he tried to stick his tongue down her throat and asked
her to have sex with him.

She said she was fired in January 2004 after she was accused of
"disparaging" members of management by calling them sexual
predators.

Prince claimed two Garden executives made unwelcome sexual
advances, made disparaging remarks about the sexual morals of a
fellow skater and initiated conversations with her and others about
their sex lives. She said Garden executives required the
cheerleaders to stuff their bras and be sexually alluring.

A telephone message left with a lawyer for MSG was not
immediately returned Monday. But MSG, which tried to block the
lawsuit, has said it believed "the allegations are unfounded."

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recommended in
August that MSG have its employees undergo sexual harassment
discrimination training and pay Prince $800,000 in damages.