According to court documents first filed in 2021, Smith was assaulted at Namath’s football camp 51 years ago.

Smith alleged that he was sexually attacked by Brooklyn Poly Prep Country Club football coach Philip Foglietta.

The alleged victim also claimed that Namath, now 80, and other defendants in the ongoing lawsuit were “enablers and pedophile protectors.”

Smith, who was only 12 years old at the time of the alleged abuse, said that Namath was his “idol” but that the Jets legend quickly went from being his “hero” to a “zero.”

“Back in those days, Joe Namath was my idol,’’ Smith told the New York Post over the weekend. “And he went from my hero to a zero in my life.’’

Smith also compared Namath’s alleged negligence to that of the late Joe Paterno – another NFL legend who was accused of knowing about assistant coach Jerry Sandusky’s sexual abuse of young boys at Penn State University between 1994 and 2009.

Amended court papers filed in 2021 stated that the case is about the “adults in positions of power” at the camp – including Namath and former Jets defensive back John Dockery – who were “aware of, tolerated, and covered up” the alleged abuse.

Smith’s lawsuit claimed that Foglietta groomed and abused him while at the camp and that Foglietta regularly brought his Poly Prep players to the summer camps in Vermont and Massachusetts.

Smith further alleged that he received special perks at the camp – including meals in the camp lunchroom with Namath, other NFL players, and the coaches and instructors.

Foglietta allegedly assured Smith that Namath recognized the then-12-year-old accuser’s presence at the camp and that Smith received “special attention” whenever Namath made an appearance.

The lawsuit alleged that the camp supervisors “did nothing” when Foglietta insisted that Smith sleep in his room.

Smith acknowledged that his presence at the camp was unusual as most participants were older high school students, and that Foglietta told Smith that he couldn’t stay in the room with the other Poly Prep students because he wasn’t paying and that he would stay with him in his room instead.

Smith alleged that the sexual abuse began that night and continued during subsequent camp stays in 1973 and 1975.

“My innocence was robbed from me at the age of 12 years old at the Joe Namath Football camp in Wilmington, Vt., at the Sitzmark Lodge in July of 1972,” Smith told the Post on Sunday.

“If my coming forward can only persuade one survivor that it is OK to come out into the sunshine and that he or she deserves all of life’s happiness and that they should not live in the darkness of guilt and self-loathing with feelings of inadequacy, then I will know my actions were meaningful and not hopeless or in vain,” the alleged victim added.

Foglietta passed away in 1998. Poly Prep ultimately settled a 2009 lawsuit alleging child sex abuse at the school in 2012.

Original Article