BUFFALO, NY- Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman LLP would like to issue the following statement on behalf of our client, Stephanie Mateczun, owner of Stejon Productions Corp., in response to the lawsuit filed by five former Buffalo Jills cheerleaders.
It was only after serious and thoughtful consideration, consultation with my attorneys, and with the best interests of the women who are members of the squad in mind, that the decision was made to suspend all activities for the Jills until this legal matter can be resolved.
It has been difficult to read and hear the personal attacks being waged against my management company, Stejon Productions, and myself in recent days. Those attacks have been driven in part because people have been drawing conclusions without having all of the facts.
It has also been incredibly disappointing to see the complete lack of accountability on the part of the Buffalo Bills organization as it relates to this complaint. The Buffalo Bills own the trademark for the Jills; they control the field and everything that happens on that field, from the uniforms the cheerleaders wear to the dances they perform. Yet the organization appears content to attempt to wash their hands of any connection to their own cheerleading squad.
The Buffalo Bills management operates a football team valued by some at nearly $900 million. If people believe they don’t maintain influence and control over every part of their operation, including their cheerleaders, they are mistaken.
I look forward to the truth coming out in this matter and people seeing all sides of this issue, not just what has been reported, or worse, speculated upon by those who don’t have all of the facts in hand.
Attorney Dennis C. Vacco:
“The decision to suspend activities for the Jills was not done as a ‘punishment’ as some have suggested.
The Bills refuse to operate the Jills in the same fashion as the 25 other NFL teams that have cheerleading squads do. Unfortunately, the manner in which the Bills have handled this issue has left Stejon with no other option. The cheerleading squad exists for the benefit of the Bills but without their support the Jills cannot continue to operate. Ironically, the Bills stepped forward weeks ago, prior to this lawsuit being filed, and offered to pay the Jills to participate in draft day events and to supplement their pay for the 2014 NFL season, but withdrew a commitment to fund the squad after the lawsuit was filed.”
Vacco said he also takes exception at the compensation numbers being reported for the members of the cheerleading squad.
“While much has been said about how the Jills were compensated, there was an extensive list of benefits given to the members of the squad that included free surgical procedures, free gym memberships, free tanning memberships, and free tickets and parking to all Buffalo Bills home games,” Vacco said.