Gov. John Bel Edwards said Thursday that he had no prior knowledge of allegations that former LSU football coach Les Miles reached a settlement with a student and was investigated for sexual harassment during his time at LSU.
The Advocate | The Times-Picayune reported Wednesday that Miles and a former LSU Athletic Department intern reached a settlement about a decade ago after she accused Miles of harassing her, three sources familiar with the allegation said to this newspaper. Miles has also intervened in a lawsuit in Baton Rouge district court to block the public release of a 2013 investigation conducted into him by law firm Taylor Porter.
Former LSU head football coach Les Miles reached a settlement with a former student who accused him of harassment several years ago, and the s…
The allegations about Miles, now the head coach at the University of Kansas, have surfaced while the law firm Husch Blackwell finishes up a review of how LSU has handled past cases of sexual misconduct, domestic violence and similar problems on campus. The release of the Husch Blackwell report could come by late next week.
"I just don't have enough information," the governor said Thursday when The Advocate | The Times-Picayune editor Peter Kovacs asked him about Miles during a town hall. "Obviously, you're concerned any time you hear about something like that, it was very surprising to me."
Miles denied on Wednesday that he made any improper advances toward a student, but did not address the existence of the settlement. An attorney for him, Peter Ginsberg, said Wednesday that a description of Miles' settlement with the student was "incomplete and inaccurate." He did not answer further questions about it.
Can't see the video below? Click here to jump to the point where Edwards talks about the Les Miles allegations.
"I have never heard anything about that," Edwards said Thursday. "And so it was obviously surprising, but I just don't know enough to comment on it. And I think it would be irresponsible for me to kind of guess what might have been there."
USA Today, who reported Wednesday about the 2013 sexual harassment investigation into Miles, is suing LSU for a copy of it. USA Today has argued that its release is in the public interest, and their reporting says that the sexual harassment investigation involved allegations that he harassed students and made sexist comments about women.
Miles' attorneys have described the report as being of a highly personal nature and say that his right to privacy outweighs any public interest in the report.
Les Miles is now the head coach at the University of Kansas, but it was elements from his LSU tenure that drew headlines this week.
LSU is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education over how the university reports and investigates crimes on campus, a probe open…