A jury in Texas has cleared American Airlines of responsibility for an alleged sexual assault by a celebrity chef it hired against one of its flight attendants. In the verdict on Wednesday, jurors in the civil lawsuit concluded that an assault occurred but that Fort Worth, Texas-based American was not at fault.
Flight attendant Kimberly Goesling was seeking $25.6 million in damages. The chef, Mark Sargeant, has never been charged with a crime. He reached a confidential settlement with Goesling, who has since retired after 30 years with American.
Some news outlets do not typically name victims of sexual assault, but are doing so in this case because Goesling has spoken openly to the news media about her case and issues of sexual harassment at American Airlines, the Associated Press said.
Sargeant didn't appear at the trial, but jurors saw a video deposition. In 2021 he said that while intoxicated he went to Goesling’s hotel room in the mistaken belief that she was interested in him, but he denied sexually assaulting her.