By Andy Rose, CNN
(CNN) — A Texas woman who claims Jerry Jones is her father and that she was forced to stay silent about it for decades refiled her defamation lawsuit against the Dallas Cowboys owner and his associates Tuesday.
Alexandra Davis, 26, says Jones and the other defendants harmed her reputation by claiming her efforts to prove paternity amounted to an extortion attempt against Jones.
Both sides acknowledged Jones and Davis’ mother, Cynthia Davis-Spencer, agreed to a private settlement when Davis was only a year old. Jones denied paternity, but agreed to pay child support to Davis until she turned 21, with the provision that neither she nor her mother would go public about the paternity dispute.
Davis filed suit against Jones in March 2022, asking the court to find that, at the time the confidentiality agreement was signed, she was too young for it to be binding on her. She later withdrew that suit, but filed a second suit in Dallas County asking for the court to establish legally that Jones is her father. That case – in which Davis is requesting the court to order Jones to submit to genetic testing – is still pending.
Tuesday’s amended defamation complaint also names the Dallas Cowboys organization, Jones’ attorney Donald Jack Jr., Jones’ friend and adviser Jim Wilkinson and Wilkinson’s public relations firm, TrailRunner International. It claims they publicly described Davis as engaged in “extortion” and a “shake down” of Jones, permanently damaging Davis’ reputation.
“The Google search ‘Alexandra Davis extortionist’ results in over 4,000,000 hits alone,” the complaint claims.
Davis’ original defamation claims were dismissed by a federal judge on October 31, who said the defendants demonstrated Davis did ask for more money from Jones before taking her paternity claim to court and that Wilkinson’s claims she was trying to “shake down” Jones were “rhetoric and opinion,” and therefore protected as free speech.
But the order from Judge Robert W. Schroeder III did allow Davis to refile some of her claims if she could allege the defendants acted with “actual malice” against her. In the new complaint, Davis states that, contrary to public statements made by Wilkinson and the determination of the judge, she never asked for money in exchange for silence about her paternity claims.
Jones filed a counterclaim against Davis in May, alleging going public with the paternity dispute amounted to a breach of contract of the original settlement.
“Jones knew at the time that he entered into the Settlement Agreement that entering into a contract which attempted to bind a one-year-old minor… was not enforceable,” Davis’ attorneys said in a June court filing.
CNN reached out Wednesday to attorneys for Jones and other defendants, but did not immediately receive a response.
™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.