The hugely popular reality series Deadliest Catch on the Discovery Channel chronicles the trials and tribulations of crab fisherman attempting to make a living in some of the most treacherous waters imaginable. Sig Hansen is the captain of the ship "The Northwestern," which is based out of Seattle. Hansen's daughter, Melissa Eckstrom, has filed a lawsuit against her father by claiming he molested her 30 years ago when she was only two years old.
Eckstrom claims that, as a result of the childhood trauma, she has been battling eating disorders, depression, and thoughts of suicide. She declared to the court, "I have memories … of being in a room alone with my father and crying out in pain." In addition to her statements, the court case included medical records and other findings to support her claims. Eckstrom also has a letter from a deputy prosecutor written in 1990, the time of the incident occurring, that notes the state denied pursuing legal action against Hansen as they didn't have enough proof to confirm his actions "beyond a reasonable doubt."
Hansen adamantly refutes her claims, saying, "This is nothing more than an old-fashioned shakedown. It's a completely frivolous lawsuit full of lies that my ex-wife made up to take away my daughter, and still uses to try to extort money from me. It's blackmail."
The Washington state Court of Appeals will make the next decision, determining whether or not the case should go to trial. If the case does go to trial, this would set an interesting precedent, as it would mean that underage victims of molestation would be allowed to sue their tormentors as adults.
Deadliest Catch premiered in 2005 and currently airs in over 200 countries, having aired its 12th season last spring. The documentary series has become one of the Discovery Channel's longest running and most successful programs, having earned multiple Emmys throughout its run. Hansen has been featured on all 12 seasons of the show, with the show's most recent season documenting a heart attack that he suffered while the show was in production. Hansen has been recuperating at his home in Seattle, WA ever since.
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[H/T Perez Hilton]