Cheerleading coach resigns amid lawsuit that claims cheerleaders were body-shamed and had their skin pulled back with duct tape

Altovise “Alto” Gary, the director of the Houston Texans cheerleading squad, has resigned in the wake of a recent lawsuit that claims the cheerleaders were not paid for all their work and were harassed and body-shamed. A spokesperson for the team, Amy Palcic, confirmed Gary’s resignation, but no further comments have been made.

The longtime coach, who has been named as a defendant in the lawsuit, resigned for personal reasons, according to the Houston Chronicle.

The class action alleges that several cheerleaders were the victims of physical assault by fans in 2017. The women allegedly reported the incidents to Gary, who they believe failed to report the attacks or ensure the cheerleaders’ safety.

The Houston Texans cheerleaders perform at NRG Stadium on Jan. 7, 2017, in Houston. (Photo: Bob Levey/Getty Images)

The lawsuit goes on to claim that Gary took one cheerleader to a private area of the stadium and duct-taped her stomach skin underneath her shorts. The suit also reads, “Coach Alto walked up to a cheerleader and poked her face asking her if she had gained her ‘freshman 15’ saying she looked like she ‘ate a plate of salt.’”

A portion of the lawsuit that claims Altovise Gary body-shamed members of the Houston Texans cheerleading squad. (Photo: U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division)

Kimberly Spurlock, the attorney who filed a second lawsuit against the Houston Texans, which did not include Gary, along with attorney Gloria Allred, said in a statement, “We believe that our lawsuit and the voices of our brave clients have made an important impact on the Houston Texans. As a result of their courage, there appears to be an important change taking place in the staff.”

Both lawsuits have been dismissed, and the cheerleaders’ complaints will be submitted to arbitration, as per their contracts with the team.

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