Former West High girls tennis coach Amie Villarini sues Iowa City school district for defamation

Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 10:38 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Amie Villarini says accusations made against her at an Iowa City school board meeting were false, and the ICCSD is at fault for posting the full meeting on YouTube.

The district posts all school board meetings online, as they are public.

The school board meeting took place on administrative leave on April 12th, Villarini’s lawyer says his client was placed on administrative leave April 13th. The lawyer, Jim Weston, says it has not been lifted.

“During last year’s tennis season, I was made to feel terrible about myself, because of the tennis coach’s actions which includes the things she said to me, and the way she touched me,” former West High tennis player Ella De Young said at the meeting. “The district made clear to me, that my feelings did not matter.”

Villarini says the claims are false, and that her character is continually being defamed.

“We’ve contacted the school district and talked with their attorneys on a number of occasions and they refused to take down or modify that recording,” said Villarini’s lawyer Jim Weston. “It’s a continuing defamation of Ms. Villarini.”

The lawsuit says Villarini suffered significant damage including quote “mental pain and suffering including loss of enjoyment of life.”

Villarini’s father, Ed Crowley, provided a statement saying the last year has taken an “emotional toll” on his family.

Weston points to the district investigation, which stated that the former players’ claims were unfounded, as evidence that the claims were false. The former players, however, still contend the report was wrong.

The ICCSD did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

To view TV-9′s original story on the players’ accusations, click here.

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