From an article in The Daily News:
Who needs the three Rs?
Two seniors from scandal-scarred Poly Prep shared a hooker, booze and cigars on a school-financed “rite of passage” Cuban getaway hosted by a top school official, a stunning new lawsuit charges.
While the 31-page Brooklyn state Supreme Court suit didn’t name the students, one was identified as the son of a famous musician who “became a generous supporter of the school via his charity contests.”
Numerous reports have cited the charity concerts given for Poly Prep Country Day School by rocker Jon Bon Jovi, whose son Jesse Bongiovi graduated from Poly Prep two years ago.
A spokesman for the Garden State singer-songwriter declined to address the wild allegations in the lawsuit or confirm that the musician’s son was on the trip.
“We never comment on Jon’s family,” said Jon Bon Jovi’s publicist, Ken Sunshine.
The suit filed Thursday by Lisa Della Pietra also alleged the debauchery in Cuba was covered up by the school “to protect a ‘high profile’ celebrity parent of a student who attended the Cuba trip.”
She’s seeking damages from Poly Prep for retaliating against her for blowing the whistle and for alleged bullying by the school’s development director Steven Andersen — identified as the host of the Cuba trip which she learned about in the summer of 2013.
Andersen’s son Sebastian was the second youth on the trip, a source told the Daily News.
Bongiovi and Sebastian Andersen are close friends, with Jesse tagging Andersen in a 2012 Facebook post with the word “Cuba” and a map of the island nation.
In December 2012, Sebastian posted a gorgeous photo of the Caribbean with the caption “that view from the penthouse in Cuba.”
According to the lawsuit, the elder Andersen “paid a prostitute to entertain the students as a ‘rite of passage,’ and drank alcohol to excess and smoked Cuban cigars with them.”
When a Poly alum threatened to expose Andersen’s salacious behavior, the development director paid hush money taken from the school coffers to insure the man’s silence, the lawsuit charged.
School parents learned about the raunchy Cuban getaway after the two students bragged about their boozing and sexual exploits upon returning to Brooklyn, the lawsuit charged.
Calls to Poly Prep headmaster David Harman for comment were not returned, but the school later sent a letter to its alumni denouncing Della Pietra as a “disgruntled employee.”
“We believe her claims are without merit and lack any substantive legal foundation,” said the letter, signed by Harmon and Board of Trustees chairman Scott Smith. “Poly Prep intends to defend itself vigorously.”
Della Pietra, a 1986 graduate of Poly Prep, returned to handle fund-raising for the elite Brooklyn school.
The lawsuit said her tormentor Andersen received a $341,117 salary, along with perks that included a house on campus, a car and free tuition for his two children.
The true purpose of his Cuban adventure was to scope out an investment that Andersen hoped would become his “nest egg,” Della Pietra charged in her court filing.
The school conducted nothing but a “sham” investigation once Della Pietra made her charges, the suit claimed.
School officials, despite promises to protect her, told Andersen about her whistleblowing — and he allegedly struck back.
Andersen “began a campaign of retaliation and bullying . . . including verbal rants and threats, stripping plaintiff of her job responsibilities,” the suit said.
In December 2012, Poly Prep Country Day School settled a landmark lawsuit claiming its longtime football coach sexually abused hundreds of boys over a 25-year period — with officials covering up the abuse.
The explosive 2009 suit claimed school officials knew coach Phil Foglietta was a sexual predator, but ignored repeated complaints to protect the institution’s athletic reputation and fund-raising efforts.
In her lawsuit, Pietra noted that Andersen coached football alongside Foglietta for 20 years. The suit does not allege sexual misconduct by Andersen. The Daily News