Hornets draft pick Jalen McDaniels secretly recorded sex videos in high school, lawsuits say

Brendan Marks and Michael Gordon, The Charlotte Observer on

Published in Basketball

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Six months before the Charlotte Hornets selected Jalen McDaniels in the second round of the NBA draft, the former San Diego State standout was sued by two female high school classmates, who claim that McDaniels recorded them performing sexual acts without their consent.

Those lawsuits, which were filed in King County, Wash., last December, go on to say that McDaniels shared the videos with his friends at Federal Way High School, outside of Tacoma. The complaints also name McDaniels' high school coach and school district as defendants.

The girls, both accomplished student-athletes themselves, were taunted and experienced "slut-shaming" at school and during sports events in which they competed, their lawsuits say.

According to the complaint, one of them dropped out of high school. Both attempted suicide, which their attorney says was directly related to McDaniels' videos.

No criminal charges were filed. According to the Seattle Times, prosecutors in King County, Wash., said police failed to find "sexual motivation" in the incidents -- an important part of proving criminal voyeurism.

Still, McDaniels' selection in the NBA draft early Friday morning raises questions about the rigor of the Hornets' due diligence in making the pick and how the player's high school conduct factored into the decision.


Asked about the lawsuits immediately after the draft, Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak said, "Quite frankly it's a legal matter, and I'm not prepared to comment on it. But we've been aware of it for months. Really, that's about all I can say about it."

One of McDaniels' attorneys, Angelo Calfo of Seattle, told the Observer that his client "regrets what occurred and any harm these two young women experienced."

"Jalen was a minor in high school at the time. He has never done anything like this before or has he since," Calfo said. "He looks forward to resolving these civil lawsuits so he and the two young women can move forward."

Joan Mell, the Seattle-based attorney representing the two women, told the Observer that McDaniels has never taken responsibility for his actions nor fully apologized to his clients.


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