Richardson raised eyebrows in 2011 during a press conference when he instructed reporter Morgan Forgarty – who worked for a Charlotte Fox News affiliate at the time – to come sit directly in front of him so he could “abuse her.”
Then Charlotte Observer reporter Tommy Tomlinson wrote at the time that Richardson “came off as irritable, cheap, confused, obstinate and a bit of a bully.”
“He directed Fox reporter Morgan Fogarty — who happens to be blond and beautiful — to come sit right in front of him,” wrote Tomlinson. “It...gave off a bad whiff.”
Fogarty, who works for Charlotte station WCCB, addressed the investigation against Richardson on Friday and started by acknowledging that she and her family have been friends of the Panthers team owner since 2010.
“He has always been a gentleman to me and my family, both personally and professionally,” Fogarty said in her statement.
However, she admitted his comments during the 2011 press conference were “awkward.”
“In January, 2011, during a press conference, he made a comment to me that, with the news today, has come up,” she said. “That day, he asked me to come to the front of the room so he could ‘abuse me.’ That was awkward in part because he failed to include context.”
Fogarty goes on to explain the missing context. She said she and another TV co-host had criticized Richardson prior to the press conference “about how cheap we felt he’d been with the team and how bad they were.”
“Afterward, Richardson told (us) that he felt we had abused him,” Fogarty explained. “That is the context that is missing from his unfortunate comment at that press conference. This has come up, and I want to make clear that that interaction has nothing to do with the Panthers internal investigation.”
Richardson shocked the city on Sunday by announcing that he’s putting the team up for sale. The announcement came not long after a Sports Illustrated article accused him of making inappropriate comments to female staff members, as well as allegedly making a racist comment to an African American recruiter for the team.