A man who first sued Joe Namath in 2019 under the name “John Doe” spoke to the New York Post Sunday evening, telling the outlet he was routinely sexually abused at Namath’s youth football camp back in 1972, when he was just 12.
Philip Lyle Smith, who attended Namath’s camp in the early 1970s, claims that former Brooklyn Poly Prep football coach John Foglietta repeatedly sexually assaulted him during his time at the camp. According to Smith’s lawsuit, which was provided to Deadspin by Smith’s attorney, Arthur Middlemiss, Foglietta was a serial pedophile who abused young boys while a football coach at the school between 1966 and 1991. In 2012, Brooklyn Poly Prep settled a lawsuit over allegations that Foglietta raped and molested multiple boys and issued an apology to its students. Foglietta died in 1998.
“My innocence was robbed from me at the age of 12 years old at the Joe Namath Football camp in Wilmington, Vt., at the Sitzmark Lodge in July of 1972,” Smith told The Post.
Smith’s lawsuit alleges that Foglietta abused him from ages 10-17, from 1970 to 1977. The lawsuit claims that “[a]fter Smith’s father unexpectedly passed away in 1970, “One of the few bright moments that happened after his father’s death was that [Smith] was able to attend, free of charge, a summer camp run by Poly.”
Smith claims that, while attending the Joe Namath Instructional Football Camp, Namath and his partner, former Jets player John Dockery, “tolerated and covered up known sexual abuse at the camp” by Foglietta. Smith said he attended the camp as Foglietta’s invited guest, and that adults at the camp didn’t question why he slept in Foglietta’s room while other Poly Prep students slept with other campers.
Smith’s lawsuit alleges Foglietta ordered that a cot be brought to his room for Smith to sleep in, but Foglietta never retrieved the cot and Smith wound up sleeping in the coach’s bed, Foglietta threatened to send Smith home if he did not oblige, as “Foglietta was sponsoring [Smith’s] camp attendance.”
“He had the entire evening with me alone. The sexual abuse physically started there with his actions, started with massages, then it became naked massages where I was naked. He became naked, and it escalated from there, and it lasted the entire week,” Smith said.
Smith said Foglietta would masturbate in front of him and that the coach “tried to masturbate me, but I was 12 years old — I couldn’t achieve an erection.”
Smith’s lawsuit also claims that Namath and Dockery were heavily involved in the day-to-day life of the campers, pointing out that Namath attended camp sessions nearly every day and visited the living areas in the camp, including camp dormitories. Moreover, the complaint alleges that “counselors employed by Namath were present and assisted when the Poly group checked into the Sitzmark Lodge, the facility used by Namath to house Foglietta and the Poly campers. Counselors were well aware that Doe was not assigned a room or bunk bed like the other campers. While at check-in, a counselor heard Foglietta tell Doe that he would not have a bunk and would be sleeping in Foglietta’s room.” When asked if he required a cot for Smith to sleep in, Foglietta allegedly replied, “Okay. Why not?” Foglietta allegedly left the cot sitting outside his room until it was removed the following day.
Further, Smith recalls that counselors were required to do bed checks each night and that other campers were disciplined when their beds were found empty.
Smith told the Post that he broke his silence about his abuse for the first time in 45 years when his wife noticed how upset he became following the Penn State child sex abuse scandal. Smith compared Namath’s ignoring of Foglietta’s abuse to former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno’s alleged knowledge of coach Jerry Sandusky’s child sexual abuse.
The lawsuit alleges that Foglietta’s behavior “was an unmissable red flag to Namath, and Dockery that something was seriously wrong with Foglietta and that Doe was at grave risk of harm.”
Deadspin reached out to Namath’s attorneys for comment, but as of the time of publication, they had not returned our attempts to contact them.