Filmmaker Sean Pamphilon said he was within his contractual
rights to go public with his recording of former Saints defensive
coordinator Gregg Williams urging his players to injure top
Pamphilon was afforded behind-the-scenes access to the team last
season through his partnership with Steve Gleason, who he was
filming for a documentary on the former Saints special teams
player’s struggle with ALS.
Gleason subsequently criticized Pamphilon for breaking his and
the team’s trust. He said their project was for private purposes
only and he had not authorized the release of the now-infamous clip
on the filmmaker’s personal website.
“Sean Pamphilon and I have an agreement that all recordings
ultimately belong to me and my family. Nothing can be released
without my explicit approval,” Gleason said.
But Pamphilon said the four-page contract the pair agreed does
not prevent either party releasing audio or video footage. “We do
have a production agreement that I followed,” Pamphilon told Yahoo!
The timing of the release coincided with the Saints staff’s
appeal of the hefty suspensions handed down by the NFL in the wake
of the bounty program scandal. The team is still awaiting NFL
Commissioner Roger Goodell’s ruling after video conference hearings
Pamphilon said Gleason should have no reason to keep the
recording of the damning speech, which Williams delivered at the
team’s hotel on the eve of January’s playoff game, out of the
“I can’t understand why Steve would think it’s in his best
interest to prevent me from telling the truth about Gregg
Williams,” Pamphilon said, adding that he received no money for
releasing the clip.
Gleason said he consented to a project to generate a “video
journal library, documenting my thoughts on life to pass on to” his
son, Rivers, who was born last October. Pamphilon contests that the
footage also would be used for a feature documentary.
Pamphilon said he was aware that Gleason and his wife Michel
were “opposed” to releasing the clip, but said a friend who both
sides had nominated as a third party to “mediate” on the matter had
sided with the filmmaker.
“When I received a call from this person saying to release the
audio ‘the sooner the better,’ I did just that,” he said.
Pamphilon previously said he was compelled to make the tape
public because of the bounty scandal, and because of his concern
that violent play would filter down to youth football.