INDIANAPOLIS — A former Indianapolis Colts cheerleader has sued the team, saying she was wrongly fired over photos she posed in for Playboy.
In district court papers filed this week, Malori Wampler said the team terminated her for violating the squad's morals clause last November after someone sent the team the photos showing her in body paint.
Wampler said she has attended a party at the Playboy Mansion, helped host Playboy's golf outings and taken photos for the company's publications, though she says she never posed nude. The 26-year-old Wampler claims the photos in question were taken before she was hired, were not published, her name wasn't affiliated with them and she wasn't compensated.
Wampler's attorney, Kimberly Jeselskis, said the firing was a surprise.
"Prior to the time she was hired, she was forthcoming to the Colts about her affiliation with Playboy," Jeselskis said Wednesday. "They said that wasn't an issue, that wasn't something they were concerned with, so they hired her to be a cheerleader. She's had no further affiliation with Playboy since before she started cheering."
She also said several Colts players have run afoul of the law in recent years and haven't received the same degree of punishment.
"There are players who, in our opinion, get away with things that are much worse than what she was terminated for, and they aren't disciplined or removed," Jeselskis said.
The filing claims the team discriminated against Wampler, who is Indonesian, because of her race. Jeselskis said a white cheerleader who was on the squad last season posed in a provocative photo while she was on the team. She said the white cheerleader wasn't disciplined and has made the 2011 squad.
Dan Emerson, the Colts' general counsel, said Wampler doesn't have a case.
"It's my belief and the Colts' contention that her claim or claims have no merit whatsoever, and I just think that it's a very sad situation that it's gone as far as it has," he said.
Jeselskis said Wampler is entitled to get her job back, lost wages and damages.
Cliff Brunt can be reached at . http://twitter.com/cliffbruntap