Posts Tagged ‘Allegations’

Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder conducted a “shadow investigation” that sought to discredit former employees making accusations of workplace sexual harassment, hired private investigators to intimidate witnesses, and used an overseas lawsuit as a pretext to obtain phone records and emails, according to a document released by a House committee Wednesday.

The Committee on Oversight and Reform is investigating the Commanders’ workplace culture following accusations of pervasive sexual harassment by team executives of women employees. It released the memo ahead of a hearing Wednesday in Washington that featured testimony from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, appearing remotely from New York.

Snyder was invited to testify but declined, citing overseas business commitments and concerns about due process. The committee chairwoman, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., announced during the hearing that she plans to issue a subpoena to compel a deposition from Snyder next week.

The 29-page memo alleges Snyder tried to discredit the people accusing him and other team executives of misconduct and also tried to influence an investigation of the team conducted for the NFL by attorney Beth Wilkinson’s firm.

Snyder’s attorneys presented the NFL with a 100-slide PowerPoint presentation including “private text messages, emails, phone logs and call transcripts, and social media posts from nearly 50 individuals who Mr. Snyder apparently believed were involved in a conspiracy to disparage him,” the committee said.

In a statement, a spokesman for Snyder characterized the report and the hearing as “a politically charged show trial” and said Congress should not be investigating “an issue a football team addressed years ago.”

Goodell told the committee that the team’s culture has transformed as a result of the Wilkinson probe and that “Dan Snyder has been held accountable.” Asked by Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., whether he would remove Snyder as owner, Goodell said, “I don’t have the authority to remove him.”

An NFL owner can only be removed by a three-quarters majority vote of fellow owners.

The NFL fined the team $10 million last year and Snyder stepped away from its day-to-day operations after Wilkinson presented her findings to Goodell. However, the league did not release a written report of Wilkinson’s findings, a decision Goodell said was intended to protect the privacy of former employees who spoke to investigators.

Attorneys Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, who represent more than 40 former team employees, again called on Goodell to release a report from the Wilkinson probe, calling it “stunning and disheartening” to hear him say Snyder has been held accountable.

“Today, the committee released a damning report demonstrating that Snyder and his lawyers also surveilled and investigated complainants, their lawyers, witnesses and journalists, which Goodell knew about and did nothing to address,” Banks and Katz said in a statement.

When announcing the discipline against Snyder, the NFL said none of the people accused of sexual harassment still worked for the Washington franchise. But two separate accusations of sexual harassment by Snyder himself have since surfaced.

Former employee Tiffani Johnston told the committee that Snyder groped her at a team dinner and tried to force her into his limousine, which Snyder denies. And The Washington Post reported Tuesday that a woman accused Snyder of sexually assaulting her on a team plane in 2009, resulting in a $1.6 million settlement.

Goodell acknowledged Wednesday that he was aware of the 2009 allegation and that Snyder did not inform the league at the time, which is a violation of the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

Johnston’s allegation prompted the NFL to hire former Securities and Exchange Commission chairwoman Mary Jo White to conduct a new investigation of Snyder and the team, and the league plans to release her findings to the public.

Maloney has introduced legislation to curb the use of workplace nondisclosure agreements and to offer protections for employees whose professional images are used inappropriately. Among the accusations against the Commanders are that team employees produced a video of lewd outtakes from a photo shoot involving the cheerleading squad.

According to the memo, Snyder used a defamation lawsuit against an obscure online media company based in India as a pretext to subpoena emails, phone records and text messages from former employees who spoke to The Washington Post about workplace harassment. The subpoenas were unusually broad, and many of the people targeted “had no plausible connection” to the Indian media company, the committee said.

The committee also alleged that Snyder sought to blame former team president Bruce Allen for the problems with Washington’s workplace culture and that Snyder’s lawyers provided Wilkinson and the NFL with 400,000 emails from Allen’s account, highlighting specific ones they deemed “inappropriate.” Some email exchanges with Allen included homophobic and misogynistic comments by Jon Gruden, which were leaked to reporters last fall and prompted Gruden’s resignation as coach of the Las Vegas Raiders.

Witnesses also told the committee that Snyder sent private investigators to their homes and offered them hush money. The NFL was aware of Snyder’s use of private investigators, according to documents obtained by the committee, but the practice continued, witnesses said.

Another new allegation came from David Pauken, the team’s former chief operating officer, who told the committee in a deposition released Wednesday that Snyder directly ordered the firings of a female front-office employee for having a sexual relationship with a coach and two cheerleaders for having sex with a player. He also said the men involved were not disciplined.

Republicans on the committee accused Democrats of going after an NFL team to distract from more pressing issues and exceeding the scope of the committee’s mission.

“A core responsibility of this committee is to conduct oversight of the executive branch, but this entire Congress, Democrats have turned a blind eye to the Biden administration,” said Kentucky GOP Rep. James Comer, the committee’s ranking member. “Instead, the Oversight committee is investigating a single private organization for workplace misconduct that occurred years ago.”

Asked by Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., what authority the committee had to investigate an NFL team, Maloney responded, “We have authority to investigate anything and everything.”

“Anything and everything,” Norman said. “That’s a total embarrassment.”

Maloney tried to clarify that comment in her closing remarks, saying the committee was authorized “to investigate anything within Congress’ legislative power.”

Commanders coach Ron Rivera issued a statement late Wednesday night, distancing himself from the team’s past.

“These investigations into inappropriate workplace issues pre-dates my employment,” said Rivera, who was hired in 2020. “I cannot change the past, but I would hope that our fans, the NFL and Congress can see that we are doing everything in our power to never repeat those workplace issues. And know that our employees are respected, valued and can be heard.”

A woman accused Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder of sexually harassing and assaulting her on a team plane in 2009, and the woman was later paid $1.6 million by the team to settle her claims, according to a document obtained by the Washington Post.

The Post reported Tuesday that it had obtained a letter by an attorney working for the team that detailed the woman’s allegations while arguing that her claims were not credible. The $1.6 million settlement had been previously revealed in legal filings related to more recent investigations of the team, but details of the woman’s allegations were not disclosed. The woman agreed not to sue the team or publicly disclose her allegations as part of the settlement.

Snyder denied the woman’s allegations, according to the letter, and a team investigation accused her of making up the claims in an attempt to extort him.

The contents of the letter were disclosed a day before a scheduled hearing by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, which is investigating the Washington team’s workplace culture. Snyder has declined an invitation by the committee to testify, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was scheduled to testify remotely.

The NFL fined the team $10 million and Snyder stepped away from its day-to-day operations after an investigation by attorney Beth Wilkinson revealed a workplace culture that was abusive to women. But the league declined to release a written report of Wilkinson’s findings.

The committee has since uncovered an allegation of sexual harassment by Snyder. Former team employee Tiffani Johnston told the committee that Snyder groped her at a team dinner and tried to force her into his limousine, claims that Snyder denied.

That triggered a new investigation of the team ordered by the NFL and led by Mary Jo White, a former U.S. attorney and chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. White is also looking into claims of financial improprieties by a former vice president of sales for the team. The NFL has said White’s findings will be made public.

The letter obtained by the Post was written by Howard Shapiro, an attorney at WilmerHale law firm, which had helped the team investigate the woman’s allegations. Shapiro wrote that the woman’s claims were “knowingly false.” He declined to comment to the Post.

According to the letter, the woman accused Snyder of asking her for sex, groping her and trying to take off her clothes in a private, partitioned area at the back of a team plane during a return flight from a trip to Las Vegas.

The letter stated that none of the other passengers on the flight supported the woman’s account. Others said the door to the back area of the plane was open for most of the flight and that other passengers and flight attendants were frequently present in that section, according to the letter.

As noted, Vince McMahon is reportedly being investigated by the WWE board of directors over cash settlements made to former employees over alleged misconduct. WWE Head of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis is also named in one of the settlements.

The investigation began in April after the WWE board was made aware of a $3 million settlement between McMahon and a former paralegal for the company with whom McMahon allegedly had an affair.

The settlement was from January of 2022, and a statement from the WWE board claims that the relationship was consensual. Upon further investigation, there were numerous settlements with former female employees to silence allegations of misconduct, which is when John Laurinaitis’ name was mentioned.

Fightful Select has backstage news about the ongoing allegations against both McMahon and Laurinaitis.

According to the report, sources that Fightful spoke to have indicated that the relationship between McMahon and the paralegal was suspected by many in the company and it was hinted that she was given a substantial promotion around the time of the April 2021 WWE cuts. She was promoted from John Laurinaitis assistant to a “director” role that spring.

Stephanie McMahon is on the company board and would have been aware of the investigation as would Nick Khan and Triple H.

Fightful also asked about Nia Jax’s tweet from April 30, “It’s a shame, some people deserve to get the opportunity to shine like the star they really are, but unfortunately certain higher-ups can never see past their own perverted ways. Too bad, there aren’t the lucky ones who can use blackmail to keep their jobs.”

There was no mention of it from any higher-ups and the tweet was just dismissed as “bitter.” The tweet would have been after the investigation was underway too.

When John Laurinaitis was given back the spot as Head of Talent Relations in 2021, female talent were frustrated with the move. One source revealed today, according to the report, that she would rather get all her stuff sent to her in a trash bag when she gets fired than to have to deal with Laurinaitis.

One former office employee also said that they believe this will be a “domino effect” and Vince McMahon will fight hard to stay, but doesn’t see a situation in which Laurinaitis doesn’t resign.

There are also assumptions that these allegations are the biggest threat to McMahon’s power in WWE since the steroid trial nearly three decades ago.

It was also noted in the report that some sources that Fightful spoke with expected John Laurinaitis to be replaced before all is said and done, and one speculated that he’s being set up as the “latest fall guy for Vince, his turn in line was coming.”

One male wrestler who was active from the 2000s and 2010s told Fightful that there long had been rumors of John Laurinatis’ misconduct, while a former writer said it was an open suspicion in the mid-2000s.

One of the women accusing Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson of sexual misconduct while she gave him a massage said she felt threatened by a comment he made following a therapy session.

Appearing on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,” Ashley Solis, who is among 22 women who have sued Watson over allegations he behaved inappropriately with them, provided graphic details of an encounter with the three-time Pro Bowler.

She also said at the end of a massage, Watson told her: “I know you have a career to protect,” and “I know you don’t want anyone messing with it just like I don’t want anyone messing with mine.”

Solis was asked by reporter Soledad O’Brien why Watson’s message frightened her.

“Because that sounded like a threat to me,” she said.

During the interview airing Tuesday night, Solis and another massage therapist, Kyla Hayes, both provided details of their meetings with Watson, who is facing civil lawsuits by the 22 women alleging various sexual acts during massages he received while playing for the Houston Texans.

Watson has denied any wrongdoing and has maintained any sex with the women was consensual. Two grand juries in Texas declined to indict Watson on criminal complaints filed by 10 of the women.

Solis and Hayes both said they feel offended by the five-year, $230 million contract Watson received in March from the Browns. Watson’s deal is both the richest in NFL history and fully guaranteed.

“It’s just like a big screw you,” Solis said. ”That’s what it feels like. That we don’t care. He can run and throw, and that’s what we care about.”

Added Hayes, “It was sick to me. … I felt like he’s being rewarded for bad behavior.”

Both women have previously spoken publicly about their interactions with Watson, and the quarterback’s lead attorney, Rusty Hardin, said the HBO interviews were “more of the same.”

“We have been denying these allegations from the beginning,” Hardin said on 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland.

Hardin acknowledged the interviews could further hurt Watson in the public eye, but he maintains his client hasn’t been treated fairly either.

“I believe very strongly that these women’s allegations ought to be listened to, investigated thoroughly, and everybody ought to keep an open mind as to whether they happened,” Hardin said. “Similarly, I believe Deshaun’s objections and denials should have been listened to until they have evidence and that’s what’s really been denied here.

“Everybody has made up their mind based on the allegation made. … The guy they described is not the guy we know. And yet, he hasn’t been given the benefit of the doubt and he should have.”

The Browns, who have spent two decades in a futile search for a franchise QB, pursued Watson along with several other teams. They convinced him to waive his no-trade clause and join Cleveland after he initially rebuffed the team.

One of Watson’s lawyers, Leah Graham, was asked to explain on the show why, if he was only seeking professional massages, did Watson end up having sex with some of the women.

“Well, in every massage, I will tell you he did go, intending just for a professional massage, and only those three instances where sexual conduct occurred — consensual sexual activity — it occurred after the massage session had ended,” Graham said. “And Mr. Watson has testified and is insistent that that sexual activity was initiated by the plaintiff in every single instance.”

During his introductory news conference with the Browns in March, Watson was adamant he has “never assaulted, disrespected or harassed any woman in my life.” He also said he had no intention of settling the lawsuits outside of court.

Watson is also facing possible discipline from the NFL, which is independently investigating whether he violated its personal-conduct policy.

League investigators interviewed Watson in Houston last week.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said at the owner’s meeting in Atlanta that the Watson investigation is “nearing the end” but did not provide a timeframe for when a decision will be announced.

The league could wait for a resolution in the lawsuits before announcing a decision or hand out discipline with a caveat that things could change if new information surfaces.

Former U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson, a disciplinary officer jointly appointed by the league and NFL Players Association, is the one deciding whether Watson violated the personal-conduct policy. If Watson is suspended and appeals, Goodell would handle any reexamination.

The Browns are eager to find out whether they’ll be without Watson for an extended period. The team resumed offseason team activities Tuesday and will have mandatory minicamp next month. Training camp is scheduled for July.

Watson treated some of his new teammates to a trip to the Bahamas last week. A team spokesman said he reported for the voluntary offseason program that resumed this week. 

The NFL is investigating former Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson’s recanted accusation that the club incentivized tanking while he was leading the team, a league spokesperson told Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal.

“We can confirm the NFL engaged former SEC chair Mary Jo White in February to look into allegations made by Hue Jackson against the Cleveland Browns,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “The review is ongoing and is expected to conclude soon.”

The Browns told Ulrich they expect the probe will prove the claim to be false.

“Even though Hue recanted his allegations a short time after they were made, it was important to us and to the integrity of the game to have an independent review of the allegations,” Browns senior vice president of communications Peter John-Baptiste said. “We welcomed an investigation and we are confident the results will show, as we’ve previously stated, that these allegations are categorically false.”

Jackson tweeted in February that Browns owner Jimmy Haslam offered him “a good number” to lose games, though the team labeled the claim “completely fabricated.” Jackson’s accusation came shortly after former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores filed a discrimination lawsuit, which included an allegation that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered him $100,000 per loss in 2019.

The former Browns head coach later walked back his accusation, noting he “was never offered money like Brian (Flores) had mentioned.” He added that the two situations were “totally different” yet had “some similarities.”

Jackson posted a 3-36-1 record with the Browns from 2016-2018. He was fired midway through his third year with the team.

The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday saying the Washington Commanders engaged in potentially unlawful financial conduct, and the NFL plans to look into the most serious allegations.

The committee found evidence of deceptive business practice over the span of more than a decade, including withholding ticket revenue from visiting teams and refundable deposits from fans.

In the letter obtained by The Associated Press, the committee outlined through the testimony of former employees and access to emails and documents a pattern of financial impropriety by owner Dan Snyder and team executives. At one point in 2016, the committee said the team retained up to $5 million from 2,000 season-ticket holders while also concealing sharable revenue from the league.

An NFL spokesman said the league has engaged former Securities and Exchange Commission chair Mary Jo White “to review the most serious matters raised by the committee.” She chaired the SEC from 2013-17.

One former employee testified before Congress saying the team had two separate financial books: one with underreported ticket revenue that went to the NFL and the full, complete picture. According to testimony, Snyder was aware of the numbers shared with the league while also being privy to the actual data.

The business practice was known as “juice” inside Washington’s front office. And, if correct, it could spell significant trouble for Snyder and the Commanders.

Ticket revenue is shared among all 32 NFL teams, with 40% of it deposited in a visiting team fund. Such money is among the pillars of the league’s revenue-sharing commitment.

A team spokeswoman said there was no new comment and referred to the statement from March 31: “The team categorically denies any suggestion of financial impropriety of any kind at any time.”

“We adhere to strict internal processes that are consistent with industry and accounting standards, are audited annually by a globally respected independent auditing firm, and are also subject to regular audits by the NFL. We continue to cooperate fully with the Committee’s work.”

The House Oversight Committee said it is sharing documents with the FTC because the commission has the authority to investigate unfair or deceptive business practices and determine if any laws were broken.

“We request that you take any other action you deem necessary to ensure that all funds are returned to their rightful owners and that those responsible are held accountable for their conduct,” said the letter signed by committee chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney and economic and consumer policy subcommittee chairman Raja Krishnamoorthi.

The letter is addressed to FTC chair Lina M. Khan but was also sent to the attorneys general of Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Congress launched an investigation into the team’s workplace misconduct after the league did not release a report detailing the findings of an independent probe into the matter. The committee said the NFL and the team “have taken steps to withhold key documents and information.”

An NFL spokesman said the league continues to cooperate and has provided more than 210,000 pages of documents.

Investigators’ inability to get all the information they wanted led them to seek testimony and documents in other ways. The committee said its investigation uncovered everything from “pervasive sexual harassment and other workplace misconduct to potential financial misconduct.”

According to testimony, financial misconduct included making it intentionally difficult for season-ticket holders to recoup refundable deposit money, counting some of those leftover funds as a different kind of revenue that doesn’t need to be shared with the league, and shifting money from ticket sales for NFL games to other events at FedEx Field as a way of hiding that money from the league.

The committee in the letter shared spreadsheet data showing evidence of deposits that were not returned. Citing emails and the testimony of longtime vice president of sales and customer service Jason Friedman, ticket sales from Washington games were shifted to a 2013 Kenny Chesney concert and a 2014 Navy-Notre Dame college football game as a way to “juice” revenue and keep it off the books shared with the NFL.

When word first surfaced in early April about the team withholding ticket revenue, the team released a statement denying that report and added: “Anyone who offered testimony suggesting a withholding of revenue has committed perjury, plain and simple.” Lawyer Lisa Banks, who represents Friedman, said the team defamed her client, who testified truthfully “with evidence.”

After the committee sent the letter to the FTC, Banks and lawyer Debra Katz, who represent more than 40 former employees, called it “damning.”

“It’s clear that the team’s misconduct goes well beyond the sexual harassment and abuse of employees already documented and has also impacted the bottom line of the NFL, other NFL owners, and the team’s fans,” they said in a statement. “We are proud of our many clients who have come forward at great personal risk to reveal the truth and bring us closer to total transparency about the full extent of the dysfunction at the Washington Commanders.”

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross could lose his team if tanking allegations from former head coach Brian Flores are proven true by an NFL investigation, sources told NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Flores claimed in a lawsuit filed against the NFL, the Dolphins, and other clubs for alleged racial discrimination in hiring practices that Ross offered him $100,000 per loss during the 2019 season in an effort to secure a top draft pick.

The NFL recently began its investigation, and if Flores’ claims are proven, the consequences could be severe. Ross could lose his club via a vote by the NFL’s other 31 owners, Rapoport adds.

It would require at least 75% of owners to vote Ross out if it were to reach that point, Rapoport notes.

Ross denied Flores’ claims earlier this month, calling them “false, malicious, and defamatory.” He also welcomed an NFL investigation into the matter.

Flores was fired by the Dolphins in January after three seasons due to a reported power struggle. He posted a winning record in each of his last two years in Miami.

Penny Sarver, the wife of Phoenix Suns majority owner Robert Sarver, contacted three former team employees following their involvement in a recent report alleging a sometimes hostile and toxic workplace culture during her husband’s 17-year tenure with the team.

“If something happens to one of my children, I will hold you and (former Suns head coach) Earl Watson personally responsible,” Penny wrote to a former staffer in a message confirmed by ESPN’s Baxter Holmes. “Think about your own child for a second and imagine the tables turned.”

The ex-staffers reportedly interpret Penny’s outreach as an attempt to intimidate them.

Watson, now an assistant coach for the Toronto Raptors, said in the initial report that Robert used the N-word several times when he was in the locker room following a loss to the Golden State Warriors. The owner allegedly asked Watson about Draymond Green’s use of the N-word on the court.

Through his representatives, Robert denied referring to any individual or group by the N-word. However, he acknowledged using the racial epithet on one occasion while quoting a player.

In a statement to ESPN, Penny said she was trying “to set the record straight” in her messages and express her disappointment in the allegations.

“I shared the betrayal that I felt, and I touched on some of the pain that we are going through as a family,” Penny said. “Any suggestion that I tried to ‘intimidate’ anyone is as silly as it is wrong and outrageous.”

Penny also features in the initial reporting into the Suns’ workplace culture. According to the report, Robert once passed around a picture of his wife in a bikini to employees and spoke about times she performed oral sex on him.

In recalling the incident, Robert said he took a photo of his wife wearing a team-branded swimwear sample and showed the picture to staff members in charge of merchandising.

“There’s literally nothing you could tell me about (Robert) from a misogynistic or race standpoint that would surprise me,” a former Suns executive told ESPN in the report.

The NBA opened a formal investigation into the allegations Thursday, calling the claims “extremely serious.”

Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver released a statement Friday, denying claims of racism and gender discrimination made against him in an upcoming ESPN story centered around misconduct within the organization.

“I am wholly shocked by some of the allegations purported by ESPN about me, personally, or about the Phoenix Suns and Mercury organizations,” Sarver said. “While I can’t begin to know how to respond to some of the vague suggestions made by mostly anonymous voices, I can certainly tell you that some of the claims I find completely repugnant to my nature and to the character of the Suns/Mercury workplace and I can tell you they never, ever happened.”

In a separate statement, the Suns organization vehemently denied accusations from the unpublished story, citing “documentary evidence in our possession and eyewitness accounts.”

Sarver, 59, has owned the Suns and Mercury since 2004.

Phoenix is coming off a successful season that saw the franchise reach the NBA Finals and come within two wins of a championship.

Tommy Dreamer has issued a statement apologising for his comments made on the most recent episode of Dark Side Of The Ring, which led to his suspension from his role as an IMPACT Wrestling Executive.

Last week’s episode of the VICE docuseries focused on the infamous WWE Plane Ride From Hell of May 2002. Dreamer, who was one of the show’s talking heads, used Twitter to release the following statement after making dismissive comments towards Heidi Doyle’s allegations of sexual misconduct against Ric Flair:-

“Regarding my comments on Dark Side of the ring. It was never my intention to offend, hurt, or victim shame anyone. I understand my comments were insensitive and could trigger emotions in someone’s own personal past. I do not condone sexual misconduct of any kind. I apologise to anyone I offended. From the bottom of my heart I am sorry.”

The episode saw Doyle tell her story on television for the first time, having previously reached a settlement with WWE after alleging a near-naked Flair had forced himself upon her during the flight, making her touch his exposed penis against her will.

To this, Dreamer said the following on Dark Side Of The Ring:

“He could move his hips, twirl it, and so his well-endowed penis spins around like a helicopter. Hey, he’s the Nature Boy for a reason, he’s got a hammer on him. Ric Flair’s not going to try to impose by force any sexual stuff onto anybody. He’s just flaunting, styling and profiling, doing the Ric Flair stuff where everybody’s going to laugh about it but obviously, someone took offence to it.”

Later in the episode, the 50-year-old compared Doyle’s experience to somebody hypothetically taking offense to his haircut:

“I feel like this is trying to portray someone has a sexual predator, and it’s not. It’s a joke, it’s a gag. Today, it’s 1,000% inappropriate. My hairstyle is inappropriate right now. I’m somehow offending someone right now with my double ponytail. How dare I have two ponytails? My answer is I’m 50 years old and I’m happy I have hair. If you’re asking me, I’ve hung out with Ric Flair. I’ve never seen him try to force his will onto anyone.”

The episode aired on Thursday (16 September). By Friday, IMPACT had suspended Dreamer, who works as a producer, creative team member, and on-air talent.