The star of Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch has been sued by his adult daughter who says her father abused her when she was two years old.
Sig Hansen, 50, is named as a defendant in a court declaration filed in Seattle, Washington, by Melissa Eckstrom. The DailyMail.com doesn't usually name people who say they are victims of sexual abuse, but Eckstrom recently decided to forgo anonymity in what she has described as her quest for justice.
Hansen's daughter, who is now 28 and a lawyer, accuses the fisherman of molesting her in 1990, after he and her mother separated.
The television star has denied the allegations and has dismissed them as 'an old-fashioned shakedown'.
Sig Hansen (pictured), 50, is named as a defendant in a court declaration filed in Seattle, Washington, by his daughter, who says he molested her when she was two years old
In the filing is a copy of a diagram she drew during a counseling session, with characters named 'mommy' and 'daddy' and arrows pointing to various areas, including one to 'potty pot'
Eckstrom, who says she has been estranged from her father for most of her life, told the court in legal filings obtained by theSeattle Timesthat she battled eating disorders, depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts as a result of the alleged abuse.
'I have memories of my father hurting my genital region. Memories of being in a room alone with my father and crying out in pain,' she wrote in the court declaration.
The daughter filed the document in November last year, but the accusations were only made public Friday by the newspaperafter Eckstrom decided to disclose her identity.
To support her claims, Eckstrom included several official records, including the result of a medical examination, an evaluation done by a therapist, and findings fromChild Protective Services dating back to the time she says her father abused her.
Eckstrom alleges in her filing that her mother, maternal grandmother and aunt found traces of abuse on her after her father began having private parental visits with her.
A deputy prosecutor's letter, written in August 1990 to Eckstrom's mother, states that 'the information at hand suggests that Mr Hansen has acted in a sexually inappropriate manner' towards his daughter.
However the prosecuting attorney's office declined to file criminal charges because they felt it wouldn't be able to prove 'beyond a reasonable doubt' that the accusations were true.
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The fisherman and television star (pictured on the show) has denied the allegations and has dismissed them as 'an old-fashioned shakedown'
Eckstrom filed her court declaration in November last year and recently decided to forgo anonymity in what she has described as her quest for justice
A deputy prosecutor's letter states that 'the information at hand suggests that Mr Hansen has acted in a sexually inappropriate manner' towards his daughter but the office declined to file criminal charges because they felt it wouldn't be able to prove 'beyond a reasonable doubt' that the accusations were true
Hansen told the Seattle Times that his daughter's allegations weren't true and dated back to his separation from her mother.
'This is nothing more than an old-fashioned shakedown,' he told the newspaper. '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.'
He added in a statement to the DailyMail.com: 'I'm a pretty plain-spoken guy, and to me, this is nothing more than a shakedown. The allegations are completely false, rehashed lies my ex-wife Lisa Eckstrom used nearly 30 years ago to take away my daughter, and has continued to try to use to extort money from me.'
It is now up to the state Court Of Appeals to decide whether the trial can happen.
Hansen's legal team has tried to get the daughter's suit dismissed, saying he has already been exonerated from the accusations during his divorce trial with her mother.
But a judge denied their request based on state law that enables people who were abused as children to file civil claims once they're adults.
The same judge denied another motion from Hansen's lawyers to keep Eckstrom from using documents from the sealed divorce and custody court file, the Seattle Times reported.
Hansen, who has starred in The Deadliest Catch since 2005, gave up his parental rights on Eckstrom after the divorce. He has since remarried and adopted his second wife's two daughters.
The daughter says in her court declaration that her mother and other relatives noticed traces of abuse after she returned from a visit with her father (circled in red) in 1990
SIG HANSEN REPLIES TO THE ACCUSATIONS
'I'm a pretty plain-spoken guy, and to me, this is nothing more than a shakedown,' Hansen told the DailyMail.com in a statement.
'The allegations are completely false, rehashed lies my ex-wife Lisa Eckstrom used nearly 30 years ago to take away my daughter, and has continued to try to use to extort money from me.
'The fact is, decades ago I was exonerated of these allegations after a full court trial. My ex-wife Lisa took me – and worst of all, my parents – to court for this back in 1990, making these baseless claims. We were fully exonerated after a prosecuting attorney, a judge, court-appointed experts, a guardian ad litem and team of other child experts all agreed that these claims were pure fiction. I cooperated 100 per cent, including taking a polygraph test that also confirmed my innocence.
'The tragedy is that my ex-wife Lisa has poisoned my relationship with our daughter through years of vile lies. Lisa has spun a web of deceit, depriving my daughter and me of a healthy, loving relationship. To me, that is the definition of child abuse.
'This is the third time the Eckstrom family has threatened to publicly rehash lies about me unless I pay them a pile of money, and I finally said enough is enough. If you've got something, bring it, because it was BS then, and it is BS now.'
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Eckstrom says in her court declaration that her mother and other relatives noticed in 1990 after she returned from a visit with her father that her rectum seemed 'blue or discolored'.
She then recounts saying during a medical examination that 'daddy puts his finger in my potty-pot,' and telling both her grandmothers that 'daddy pottied on my leg'.
A doctor who examined her said the findings were 'rarely seen in children without a history of sexual abuse', as quoted in the court declaration.
Eckstrom also includes findings from counseling sessions, which state she as a little girl said she 'did not like her daddy and that she was fearful of her daddy and that her daddy had hurt her potty-pot'.
In her filing is a copy of a diagram she drew during a counseling session, with characters named 'mommy' and 'daddy' and arrows pointing to various areas, including one indicating 'potty pot'.
Hansen meanwhile told the Seattle Times that his daughter was 'brainwashed and programmed by her mother and multiple members of her family'.
He claims a previous attempt at a reconciliation ended after Eckstrom and her mother said they would 'go to the media' if he didn't give his daughter $300,000, after she sought help to pay for law school.
But Eckstrom told the newspaper she isn't seeking money and instead wants 'justice' and'accountability for what my father did to [her].'