Dottie Sandusky, the wife of ex-Penn State football coach and convicted child rapist Jerry Sandusky, broke a long media silence in an interview with Matt Lauer this morning, but is standing by all the old defences raised in support of her husband.
While continuing to insist on his innocence, Sandusky insinuated that her husband's victims were money-hungry opportunists, who took advantage of a man who grew up during a "generation" where it was okay to shower with kids. In an odd moment, she even tried to refute claims that her basement was sound-proof (and thus she would have heard screams coming there, if there had been any.) Sandusky appeared on the Today show Wednesday morning, the first television interview since her husband was convicted of 45 charges of sexual abuse.
"I think it was, they were manipulated, and they saw money,’" Sandusky told Lauer, while appearing with family supporter John Ziegler. Sandusky is referring to the $60 million in settlements that Penn State had to pay to 26 people who said they were abused by Sandusky, while a member of the football program. "Once lawyers came into the case, they said there was money," she added.
Sandusky went even further, trying to defend Jerry's behavior as a generational misunderstanding. "I believe he showered with kids. That’s the generation that Jerry grew up in ... There were always people coming in and out no matter what time that was," she said. Sandusky was born in 1944, making him either an early baby boomer or the last of the silent generation. I'm not sure either generation wants to defend that behavior as normal.
Finally, she says that child abuse couldn't occurred in her home because her basement was a nice basement. And because she would have definitely heard the screams of child rape. "I will take you downstairs and let you see the basement. It is not a dungeon. It is not what those kids said. You can scream, and you can hear it up to the second floor," she said.
During Sandusky's trial, jurors heard testimony from eight men who said Sandusky raped them in his home, sometimes while Dottie was home. One of Sandusky's alleged victims would also agree with Sandusky— the basement isn't soundproof. He told the jury that she would have had to heard his screams, but she apparently didn't do anything.
Dottie Sandusky was accompanied to Today with controversial filmmaker John Ziegler, who has been on a mission to clear Joe Paterno's name — without support from Joe Paterno's family. In fact, Paterno's family has distanced itself from Ziegler's projects.
Here's the video of Sandusky's interview on Today.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.