Main Line Woman Says She Was Sexually Harassed at Merion Cricket Club

She claims a manager told her "it isn't harassment if he likes you."

Merion Cricket Club, where a Main Line woman claims in a new lawsuit that she was sexually harassed by management

A Main Line woman claims a manager harassed her at Merion Cricket Club. (Flickr/CC)

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Main Line Woman Says a Merion Cricket Club Manager Sexually Harassed Her

The Merion Cricket Club is a gated private social club along Montgomery Avenue in the Haverford section of the Main Line. There, the well-heeled and impeccably coiffed go to mix, mingle and play tennis. The club has been around in one form or another since 1865 and describes itself as “family oriented.” But according to one Main Line woman’s allegations, what was going on behind the scenes at Merion Cricket Club wasn’t exactly family-friendly.

Twenty-four-year-old Wynnewood resident Maura Owens began working as a server at Merion Cricket Club’s restaurant in 2018. According to a lawsuit Owens just filed in Philadelphia’s federal court, a man named Kyle Ross became her direct supervisor in June 2019 when he was named assistant food and beverage manager of Merion Cricket Club. Owens alleges that immediately after Ross took on that role, he told her he was physically attracted to her. She says she told him she wasn’t interested but that he persisted and made repeated unwanted sexual advances.

According to the allegations in her suit, Ross frequently told Owens that he was sexually aroused and once specifically said that he had an erection. She goes on to allege that Ross once tried to touch her breasts through her shirt and that she had to push his hand away. She says he continued his harassment and that her refusals led to more sexual harassment, “hostile behavior,” and threats to her job for close to two years.

Owens says that after she complained to another woman who worked there about Ross, Ross came to her and screamed at her. Later, in July 2021, Owens complained to management about Ross, and according to the suit, the manager told her that he’d have a follow-up meeting with her in one week. Ross says the manager in question did nothing to separate her from Ross in the interim.

When the week was up, Owens claims, the manager she reported Ross to told her that Ross hadn’t harassed her, allegedly explaining that “it isn’t harassment if he likes you.” After that conversation, Owens says, she felt “unsafe and unprotected,” and she resigned as a result of the workplace environment. She adds that another unnamed woman did the same.

The lawsuit accuses Merion Cricket Club of sexual harassment and retaliation and seeks unspecified damages. Despite multiple attempts, we were unable to reach Merion Cricket Club or Ross for comment.

More Questions About Last Week’s Mass Shooting in Philadelphia

This New York Times headline makes it pretty clear that already embattled Philadelphia police commissioner Danielle Outlaw isn’t having a particularly good week: Philadelphia Police Officials Detail Botched Response to a Fatal Shooting. According to police, the suspect in the shooting fired through the first victim’s door the day before last week’s mass shooting.

RIP, Peter Nero

The former conductor of the Philly Pops (the group now calling itself the No Name Pops amidst a ridiculous legal saga) has died at the age of 89.

Thing I Didn’t Expect to Learn This Week

How Elvis Presley’s car is sending local students to college for free.

Local Talent

Happy (slightly belated) birthday to former Masterman guy Kevin Bacon, who just turned 65. And what is Bacon up to these days? He’s part of the cast of Beverly Hills Cop: Axel Foley, the fourth movie in the comedy franchise. Don’t feel bad if you’d forgotten about Beverly Hills Cop. The widely panned third installment came out when Bacon was a youthful 36 years old.

Lil Uzi Vert at the 2023 Roots Picnic

Lil Uzi Vert at the 2023 Roots Picnic (Getty Images)

Speaking of widely panned, I give you Pink Tape for your listening, er, pleasure. Sure, the critics aren’t big fans of the newest album from Philly rapper Lil Uzi Vert. But it’s top of the charts, as they say. And Uzi just announced a homecoming show at Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday, November 22nd. Should give you some good fodder for the Thanksgiving table the next day.

Looking for a different kind of Philadelphia Orchestra concert? Look no further than this one next week featuring Philly rapper Chill Moody, the orchestra, and a choir. Bonus: It’s free!

By the Numbers

200: Number of feet a Tesla driver allegedly dragged a cop during a routine traffic stop on Monday night.

$16.5 million: What it will cost you to buy a private island built by a New Jersey gastroenterologist. I imagine the toilets would be top notch.

94 percent: What weekend foot traffic in Center City was in May compared to what it was in the May prior to the pandemic. That’s according to cell-phone data compiled by the Center City District.

6: Age of Philly’s latest wooder ice entrepreneur.

And in Manage-This Sports News …

For better or for worse, it’s settled: B-Ball Paul is staying right here.

Rob Thomson will be managing the National League team in tonight’s All-Star game, with the first pitch slated for 8 p.m. Two Phillies will take the field — right fielder Nick Castellanos and pitcher Craig Kimbrel. You know what to do, guys. And in more local-lad-makes-good news, there’s this.

No Phillies were in the Home Run Derby last night, which was won by chip-off-the-old-block Vladimir Guerrero Jr., whose dad won in 2007. It’s not true that Aaron Nola pitched. However, this did happen.

As did this:

Great American pastime! And in more Taney Dragons news: Mo’ne Davis’s former catcher, Scott Bandura, has been drafted by the San Francisco Giants. Super-cool!

All Philly Today Sports Desk coverage is provided by Sandy Hingston.