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University president's wife 'sickened' by allegations

  • Story Highlights
  • Suit filed by three profs who say Oral Roberts University fired them unfairly
  • Lindsay Roberts says charges sicken her, and she's never had extramarital sex
  • Suit also claims university gave a convicted sex offender access to students
  • University denies that, also denies shredding evidence
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(CNN) -- The wife of the president of Oral Roberts University is denying allegations of improper behavior, saying the claims "sicken" her.

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Richard Roberts and wife Lindsay appear on CNN's "Larry King Live" last week.

Lindsay Roberts, in a statement on the university's Web site, said the allegations against her "sicken me to my soul. ... I live my life in a morally upright manner and throughout my marriage have never, ever engaged in any sexual behavior with any man outside of my marriage as the accusations imply."

The suit, filed earlier this month, has drawn international attention to the private Christian school in Tulsa, Oklahoma, founded by evangelist Oral Roberts, father of university President Richard Roberts.

The new allegations come in an amended version of the wrongful termination suit filed by three former professors, who say they lost their jobs after reporting that Roberts and his family lavishly spent school money for personal expenses.

The amended lawsuit, filed Friday, also alleges that the university gave a "convicted sexual deviant unrestricted access to students" while the man acted as a "mentor." The lawsuit also claims the university shredded evidence three days after the suit was filed against the school. The school denies both accusations in a statement on its Web site.

The new allegations involving Lindsay Roberts come in a section titled "Scandal Vulnerability Assessment."

It says that photos show her and an underage male smoking at the president's residence and that she "spent the night in the ORU guest house with an underage male on nine separate occasions." It also references 29 photos it says show her and an underage male alone in her car, time-stamped after midnight, despite a citywide 10 p.m. curfew for minors not with their parents.

The suit does not allege sexual behavior.

The suit says Richard Roberts "sought approval from stakeholders for moving the underage male into the family residence," and "a longtime maintenance employee was summarily fired so that the same underage male companion could have his position."

In her statement, Lindsay Roberts denied all the allegations against her in the lawsuit. "The part that grieves me the most is that these accusations are being brought forth in so many areas and being seen and heard through the media when the parties suing have continued to say they don't even know if these allegations are true," she said. "I believe it's grossly unfair to allow such speculation to be used against me and attached to a lawsuit in which I am not even named as a party."

Other allegations in the amended version of the lawsuit are in a section accusing the ORU board of negligence. It says that this past summer, the Board of Regents allowed the president and the school "to give a convicted sexual deviant unrestricted access to the students of the university." The man had previously "confessed to crimes" in courts in Tulsa and the surrounding area and was convicted, the suit says.

"In one of these convictions, this 'Mentor' for ORU students -- reportedly hired at the direct personal instruction, and under the direct supervision of President Richard Roberts -- confessed to the facts regarding exposing himself to a 15-year-old boy in a school locker room," the suit says.

It also says three days after the initial lawsuit was filed on October 2, the board allowed ORU and Roberts to fire the school's financial comptroller after 26 years of service. Within hours, "voluminous materials and documents were shredded and destroyed, constituting spoilation of evidence," according to witnesses, the suit says.

Beyond the online posting, university officials did not immediately reply to a request for comment Monday by CNN.

The suit was filed by John Swails, Tim Brooker and Paulita Brooker, who accuse Richard and Lindsay Roberts of treating school funds like their own bank account, using them for home renovations, expensive vacations and clothes -- allegations the Robertses and the school have previously denied.

After complaining to the school's Board of Regents about university spending, two of the professors were fired from their jobs and the third was thrown into conditions "so intolerable" that he had no choice but to resign, the lawsuit says.

One of the firings, the suit says, was also in retaliation for the plaintiff refusing to drop a sexual harassment complaint that one of his subordinates made against an associate provost, who is named as a defendant.

The suit calls for actual damages "in excess of $10,000" and punitive damages also "in excess of $10,000" for each plaintiff, as well as attorneys' fees, court costs, "and any further relief that the court deems just an equitable."

In an interview last week on CNN's "Larry King Live," before the latest allegations were added to the suit, Richard Roberts called it "the most unusual thing I've ever witnessed in my life." Asked whether someone is out to get him, he responded, "It sure seems that way." Lindsay Roberts called the allegations "preposterous."

The three plaintiffs who filed the lawsuit, meanwhile, accuse school officials of making libelous public remarks about them in an effort to discredit the lawsuit.

Last week, before the amended suit was filed, the board vowed to hire an auditor to look into "allegations made in regards to Oral Roberts University and certain members of the administration," board Chairman George Pearsons said in an October 7 statement posted on the ORU Web site. "The Oral Roberts University Board of Regents is committed to operating the institution in accordance with all ethical, legal and moral standards." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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