ATLANTA — Attorneys said that for years, the nationally-renowned, South Carolina cheerleading coach Scott Foster, who owned “Rockstar Cheer,” assaulted children he was training, and threatened them if they told anyone.
Now, as civil and criminal investigations are underway, cheer facilities in metro Atlanta and elsewhere — which have been operating under the “Rockstar Cheer” name — have a message: they are not and never have been connected with that coach.
Attorneys in South Carolina say it was about six weeks ago when cheerleaders, who were trained over the years by Foster at Rockstar Cheer near Greenville, South Carolina, began to come forward, accusing him of sexually assaulting them.
Then on Aug. 22, Foster died by suicide, according to authorities — just as he was learning about criminal and civil investigations targeting him and his business.
Attorneys on Tuesday said in Greeneville that the lawsuit they are about to file will accuse Foster and others of sexually abusing a succession of minors and teens, for at least a decade.
"Scott Foster knew that he was going to have to face the victims that were the subject of his sexual predatorship,” said attorney James Bannister. “He knew that this was going to be a moment where the light was going to be shined on what, I think, will turn out to be a a coven of sexual predators surrounding Rockstar. Just because he is deceased does not mean that the investigation is over."
Foster’s Rockstar Cheer was so successful that he sold rights to the brand across the country.
And as soon as owners of Rockstar Cheer Atlanta, in Woodstock and in McDonough, heard of the allegations, they announced they were immediately dropping the name — reminding parents that Foster never owned or managed their facilities here.
“The allegations coming out of Greenville are horrific and horrendous,” said spokesperson Evan Nierman, “and we condemn them in the strongest possible terms. And it’s important for the parents and the community to know that they (Rockstar Cheer in Greenville) have absolutely nothing to do with our locations. And the only connection between us and the individual against whom the allegations have been made is that we shared the name Rockstar.”
He added Foster once led an all-day clinic here, but that was it.
“He was at our gym one time in recent years, never alone with any children. It was a public coaching. All of the parents were present. All of our coaching staff was present. There have not been any allegations brought to our attention and he was never alone or had access to any of our children at any time,” Neirman explained.
Meanwhile, attorneys are saying that their clients who are accusing Foster range in age from minors to people in their 40s, and they're saying they were threatened and coerced to remain silent.
“Mr. Foster, on numerous occasions, plied young women with alcohol and marijuana,” said attorney Bakari Sellers. “Our clients were groped. Our clients were assaulted, and our clients, many of which were young, had sex with Mr. Foster. And they’re not just young women, we represent young men, as well.”
Foster’s widow and business partner, Kathy Foster, released a statement expressing her grief over the allegations, and over the loss of her husband:
“I am heartbroken by the recent allegations made by current and former athletes from Rockstar Cheer and other cheer gyms across our community. I hope the survivors are seeking and receive the support they need. I am sympathetic to their stories, and will cooperate with all involved to make sure our athletes learn and grow in a safe environment. At this time, I am focusing on providing needed support to my children, as they come to terms with the loss of their father.”