NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A new sexual harassment lawsuit accuses former middle school principal Sam Braden of bragging to a Metro Nashville Public Schools employee of his interest in "fun, freaky, excited stuff" and sending him "multiple sexually explicit messages."
Braden retired last summer following an exclusive NewsChannel 5 investigation into complaints filed against the John F. Kennedy Middle School principal. Three victims later sued, and Metro Schools paid $350,000 to settle those lawsuits.
The latest lawsuit, filed by an assistant principal who was employed at another school, claims Braden's alleged harassment caused him "a great deal of mental and physical distress, ultimately resulting in nervous breakdowns."
In addition, the lawsuit accuses Braden's wife, Dr. Sharon Braden, of creating a hostile work environment when he worked for her years ago at Johnson Alternative Learning Center. Sharon Braden also retired from her principal job last year.
NewsChannel 5 is not naming the plaintiff due to the extreme nature of the emotional trauma that he claims to have suffered.
Unlike previous lawsuits filed against Sam Braden, the alleged victim in this case was never supervised by him, many of the allegations date back years and the man did not file a formal complaint with MNPS human resources until after Braden retired last summer.
The lawsuit says the harassment began after the man visited John F. Kennedy Middle School in October 2014.
During that visit, the lawsuit says Sam Braden spoke in derogatory terms about his wife's appearance and his lack of sexual interest in her.
It claims he asked, "Who wants to f... someone that looks like that every day?"
"From the JFK Middle School visit until fall of 2018, Defendant Sam Braden was sexually interested in Plaintiff and frequently made suggestive and inappropriate comments to Plaintiff via persistent text message and phone calls from both Defendant's work phone and personal phone," the lawsuit says.
"Defendant Sam Braden's actions were discriminatory, harassing, sexually charged in nature and shocking to Plaintiff."
On one occasion, Braden called the man "to tell him that he frequents sexual retail stores and participates in 'freaky' activities because he is 'always horny.'"
Our NewsChannel 5 investigation discovered that Braden had hired a school employee who had previously worked at an adult bookstore.
According to the lawsuit, the man complained to a supervisor, but did not go to HR because he feared that Braden had the influence to get him fired.
Still, it argues, MNPS "should have known of the outrageous conduct and failed to respond with prompt and appropriate correct action to eliminate the outrageous conduct."
A Metro Schools spokesperson said the district cannot comment on pending litigation. The Bradens' lawyer, Michie Gibson, said he had not seen the lawsuit and could not comment.