‘Cheer’ star Monica Aldama accused of trying to silence sexual assault victim: lawsuit

A former member of the Navarro College cheerleading squad – which shot to fame on the Netflix series “Cheer” – says hard-driving head coach Monica Aldama and the Texas school tried to silence her after a teammate sexually assaulted her.

Madi Lane, 22, made the explosive allegations in a federal lawsuit alleging that Aldama, 51, enabled a “pervasive culture of sexual harassment, sexual violence, and intimidation” on the Navarro College Bulldogs cheer team.

Teammate Salvatore “Salvo” Amico allegedly entered her dorm room Sept. 1, 2021, crawled into her bed and began ripping off her underwear and pants, the lawsuit states.

“Plaintiff screamed at Salvo to stop, and tried to keep him from removing her clothes,” but the veteran cheerleader allegedly “groped her chest and then inserted his fingers into her vagina,” the suit charges. 


Madi Lane, 22, in her Cheer outfit next to Moncia Aldama and teammate Salvatore Amico.

Former Navarro cheer team member Madi Lane, left, and head coach Monica Aldama. Lane has accused former cheer teammate Salvatore “Salvo” Amico, right, of sexually assaulting her, and Aldama of trying to silence her. (Instagram/Navarro College)

She pushed him away and demanded that he leave. The distraught rookie cheerleader told several teammates about the assault and repeatedly tried to report it but was pressured to keep quiet at every turn, according to the complaint.

A senior team member reportedly instructed her to “drink it off and get your mind off of it” because “that’s what Navarro girls do – they drink. We don’t tell anyone. We just keep it to ourself.”

“The veterans pointed guns [at] plaintiff and [her boyfriend] and threatened to kill them for reporting the assault.” — Madi Lane and her boyfriend allege in court papers

Lane told her boyfriend, who picked her up from her dorm and reported the alleged assault to police. 

As they left campus, senior cheerleaders allegedly followed them in a car. “The veterans pointed guns [at] plaintiff and [her boyfriend] and threatened to kill them for reporting the assault,” the couple alleges.

Madi Lane, 22, posing in front of newspapers and in a cheerleading outfit.

Former Navarro cheer squad member Madi Lane alleges that a teammate sexually assaulted her, and that her coach, Monica Aldama, and Navarro College tried to silence her. (Instagram/Navarro College)

Lane called Aldama and tried to tell her what happened. “Aldama interrupted her, saying, ‘Let’s not make this a big deal,’” the lawsuit says. 

A few days later, Lane quit the cheer team and Aldama allegedly told her if she kept quiet, “I’ll make sure you can cheer anywhere you want.”

Lane didn’t buckle to the pressure and reported the alleged attack to campus police and the school’s Title IX office — but they allegedly refused to take an official report or investigate.

The suit also names Amico, Director of Athletics Michael Landers and Title IX coordinator Elizabeth Pillans.

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