Former Arizona head football coach Rich Rodriguez on Monday filed court papers claiming his former assistant and her attorney fabricated stories of sexual harassment with the purpose to extort $7.5 million.
Rodriguez was fired in January as details of the alleged harassment became public. His former assistant, Melissa Wilhelmsen, filed a lawsuit asking for $7.5 million in damages in January.
Wilhelmsen accused Rodriguez of "inappropriately touching her" and creating a "hostile work environment." She also said Rodriguez, who admitted to having an extramarital affair, tasked her with keeping his wife and mistress apart when both were at football games.
Rodriguez has denied the sexual harassment allegations.
According to the Arizona Republic, Wilhelmsen's attorney, Augustine Jimenez, called Rodriguez's attorney on Nov. 2 and on Nov. 4, making three allegations of harassment. In a follow-up email on Nov. 8, Rodriguez's legal filing said, Jimenez said that it would take "multiple million dollars" to resolve the matter.
Rodriguez reportedly contacted the university, FBI and Arizona Attorney General informing them of the extortion allegation, the Republic said. None of the three entities would confirm or deny they were investigating Rodriguez's claims.
Rodriguez was fired Jan. 2 without just cause.
The university conducted an internal investigation and came to the conclusion Wilhelmsen's claims against Rodriguez "could not be substantiated based on the evidence and witnesses available."
In six seasons in Tucson, Rodriguez compiled a 43-35 record. He's due a $6.28 million buyout, the Republic reported.
The Wildcats hired former Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin to replace Rodriguez.