Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones asks judge to dismiss paternity lawsuit, alleges extortion attempts

Jerry Jones asked a judge Monday to toss out a paternity case against him, saying the 25-year-old congressional aide who alleges she is his daughter is involved in one of "multiple monetary extortion attempts" against him and the Dallas Cowboys.

Jones' response to the lawsuit filed by Alexandra Davis says she delivered a draft of it to Jones on an unspecified date and asked whether he would "make a deal" to "assure that he would not be publicly or privately identified" as her father.

The court motion does not identify the people who have allegedly attempted to extort Jones and the Cowboys or for how much. "The potential source(s) of those attempted extortions ... will be the subject of other litigation which has been filed or will be instituted shortly," wrote Jones' lawyers, Levi McCathern II and Charles L. Babcock, in the motion filed before a court-mandated deadline on Monday afternoon.

However, a March 10 demand letter from Babcock connects the Davis paternity lawsuit against Jones and numerous other recent Cowboys scandals to the ongoing contentious divorce battle between Jones' daughter, Charlotte Jones Anderson, and her husband, Shy Anderson. The letter, obtained by ESPN, advises Anderson to preserve documents "to determine whether a conspiracy exists among yourself and others including, without limitation, certain of your lawyers."

The letter advises Jones' longtime son-in-law to preserve documents and other evidence in 10 categories, including communications he might have had with Davis and her mother, Cynthia Davis Spencer. Other specified topics that lawyers asked Anderson to preserve include "All efforts to obtain monies from Mr. Jones directly or indirectly" and "All efforts to obtain information you and/or your counsel consider embarrassing to Mr. Jones."

The March 10 letter from Babcock also makes reference to "all communications with any person regarding an incident with certain Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders which was the subject of an article by ESPN."

The letter also asks Anderson to preserve all communications he might have had with a former longtime Cowboys executive named Vincent Thompson. Thompson provided the initial tip that led to a Feb. 16 story by ESPN. The story detailed the team's $2.4 million settlement after four cheerleaders accused longtime team executive Richard Dalrymple of voyeurism in their locker room at AT&T Stadium. ESPN confirmed the story by obtaining confidential documents outlining the settlement and non-disclosure agreement.

Thompson, the team's human resources chief from 1998 to 2009, has made numerous allegations about the front-office culture of the Cowboys. Thompson did not have first-hand knowledge of Dalrymple's alleged voyeurism incident, which occurred on Sept. 2, 2015, six years after he left the team. He told ESPN he had heard about the incident from a current Cowboys employee but not from Anderson.

"This is ridiculous," Thompson said. "I have not seen or spoken to Shy Anderson since I left the Cowboys front office in 2009."

McCathern and Babcock declined to comment. Anderson's divorce lawyer, Lisa G. Duffee, did not return multiple calls and messages from ESPN. Jim Wilkinson, a spokesman for Jones, also declined to comment about the court filing or the March 10 letter. Wilkinson declined to comment when asked if Jones or his lawyers have alerted federal law enforcement officials to the alleged extortion plots.

Andrew A. Bergman, the Dallas attorney for Davis, said, "I would challenge Jerry Jones to put up any evidence that anyone demanded any money, period. It's a shame that Jerry Jones wants to further damage his own daughter by now claiming she is extorting him. I challenge them to put up any evidence that supports either one of these defamatory and false claims."

Bergman provided ESPN with a letter that he had sent to Jones on Davis' behalf on Jan. 5. "I do not feel that it is necessary to go into any detail in explaining why Alexandra believes you are her biological father," he wrote. "However, Alexandra is more than willing to participate in genetic determination. Texas law provides a relatively simple, non-intrusive, inexpensive, quick procedure for establishing parentage if you are willing to cooperate."

Bergman wrote that if he didn't hear from Jones in seven days, he would proceed with legal action to force Jones to acknowledge he is the woman's father.

In Monday's filing, Jones claimed that Davis had made "'let's make a deal' overtures" at the same time the Cowboys owner was dealing with "multiple monetary extortion attempts." The motion does not say how much money lawyers for Davis had allegedly sought to keep the matter from becoming public.

"She is not entitled to the relief she requests," Jones' lawyers wrote, "and the Court does not have jurisdiction to grant it." In denying all the allegations made in the initial complaint, Jones and his lawyers asked a judge to dismiss Davis' lawsuit with prejudice.

"We challenge Mr. Jones to deny that he is the father and/or that he paid the money for the confidentiality agreement for Alex's mother," Bergman said. "When [Cynthia] Davis was subpoenaed in an unrelated proceeding, Jerry's lawyers told [Cynthia] Davis, Alex's mother, that Jerry's lawyer, Don Jacks, would be very mad and Jerry would probably terminate the trust."

Davis, who now works as an aide to U.S. Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Texas, has declined to comment to ESPN and other media outlets. On March 3, she filed her lawsuit against Jones, alleging the billionaire is her biological father and asking a judge to toss out an agreement "that attempts to prohibit her from stating who her real father is." On March 9, a lawyer for Davis told ESPN that she "does not seek the recovery of money" but only the ability to state publicly that Jones is her biological father.

At the NFL's annual meetings this week in Palm Beach, Florida, Jones was asked by reporters about the paternity lawsuit for the first time, but he declined to discuss it, calling it "a personal issue."

The initial complaint says that Davis "has lived her life fatherless and in secret and in fear that if she should tell anyone who her father was, she and her mother would lose financial support or worse."

Jones is alleged to have paid $375,000 to Davis' mother, whom the lawsuit says was courted by the Cowboys owner in 1995 when she was working at the American Airlines ticket counter in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The complaint alleges that when Davis was a year old, her mother signed an agreement with Jones' friend and lawyer, Donald Jack, accepting the $375,000 payoff. But two trusts that were established in 1995 have paid an undisclosed amount to Davis and her mother, and remain in effect. The trusts have resulted in Davis "never having a legal father," the lawsuit says.

"To add incredible insult to injury, Plaintiff has had to spend her entire life hiding and concealing who her real father is," the complaint says. "Defendant Jones' only role in Plaintiff's life to date other than to shun her, has been to coerce her from ever disclosing her identity."

Davis' complaint also mentions the Charlotte Jones Anderson and Shy Anderson divorce proceedings. The lawsuit says that Davis Spencer was recently subpoenaed for a deposition in the divorce case, which was described in the lawsuit as "protracted and contentious." The lawsuit alleges that after Davis Spencer was subpoenaed to testify in a deposition connected to the divorce, she was contacted "by at least one person" associated with Jones.

"This person informed Cynthia that Defendant Jones would be very displeased if she testified at her deposition and disclosed that he was Plaintiff's father," the suit said. "Cynthia was told that Defendant Jones could, and perhaps would, terminate the trusts, which currently still stand to benefit Plaintiffs with two lump sum payments owing to Plaintiff when she turns 26 and 28, if Cynthia testified to the fact that Defendant Jones is Plaintiff's father."

A hearing is set for this Thursday afternoon to determine if Davis' initial complaint will remain under temporary seal to the public.