Alexandra Davis, a 26-year-old Texas woman, has refiled her defamation lawsuit against Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, and several of his associates. Davis alleges that Jones is her father, and she claims that she was compelled to keep this information a secret for decades. The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday, accuses Jones and his associates of damaging her reputation by suggesting that her efforts to establish paternity amounted to extortion against Jones.
The dispute dates back to a private settlement reached between Jones and Cynthia Davis-Spencer, Davis’s mother, when Davis was just one year old. Although Jones denied paternity, he agreed to provide child support until Davis reached the age of 21. As part of the settlement, both Davis and her mother agreed not to make their paternity claims public.
In March 2022, Davis initially filed a lawsuit against Jones, seeking a legal declaration that the confidentiality agreement signed when she was a year old should not bind her. She later withdrew that suit but subsequently filed a second lawsuit in Dallas County, with the primary aim of legally establishing Jones as her father. In this ongoing case, Davis is requesting the court to order Jones to undergo genetic testing to confirm her claim.
The amended defamation complaint filed on Tuesday also lists the Dallas Cowboys organization, Jones’s attorney Donald Jack Jr., Jones’s friend and adviser Jim Wilkinson, and Wilkinson’s public relations firm, TrailRunner International, as defendants. The complaint alleges that they publicly characterized Davis as engaged in “extortion” and accused her of attempting to “shake down” Jones, resulting in permanent damage to Davis’s reputation.
According to the complaint, a Google search for “Alexandra Davis extortionist” yields over 4,000,000 results, highlighting the extent of the damage to her reputation.
Davis’s original defamation claims were dismissed by a federal judge on October 31. The judge ruled that the defendants had demonstrated that Davis had indeed requested additional financial support from Jones before taking her paternity claim to court. Furthermore, the judge considered Wilkinson’s statements about Davis as “rhetoric and opinion,” thus protected as free speech.
However, Judge Robert W. Schroeder III’s order did leave open the possibility for Davis to refile some of her claims if she could prove that the defendants had acted with “actual malice” against her. In her new complaint, Davis asserts that, contrary to public statements made by Wilkinson and the judge’s determination, she never sought money in exchange for her silence regarding her paternity claims.
In May, Jerry Jones filed a counterclaim against Davis, alleging that going public with the paternity dispute constituted a breach of the original settlement contract. Davis’s attorneys countered this by stating that Jones had been aware at the time of entering into the settlement agreement that binding a one-year-old minor to a contract was not enforceable.
As of now, there has been no response from attorneys representing Jerry Jones and the other defendants regarding the latest development in this legal battle.
The legal battle between Alexandra Davis and Jerry Jones continues to unfold, with Davis reasserting her claim of paternity and refiling her defamation lawsuit against Jones and his associates. The court will need to determine the validity of the confidentiality agreement and whether Jones is indeed her father. The outcome of this case will undoubtedly have lasting implications for all parties involved.