A former high-ranking franchise executive claims she was canned by
the team because co-owner Jeff Wilpon, son of principal owner Jeff,
objected to her becoming pregnant out of wedlock, according to a
stunning Brooklyn federal court lawsuit filed Wednesday.
Penn grad and former soccer player Leigh Castergine said Wilpon and
the Mets dumped her from her powerful position as head of marketing and
ticket sales last month because the bumbling owner was “morally opposed”
to her out-of-wedlock pregnancy.
“He frequently humiliated Castergine in front of others by, among
other things, pretending to see if she had an engagement ring on her
finger and openly stating in a meeting of the Team’s all-male senior
executives that he is ‘morally opposed’ to Castergine ‘having this baby
without being married,'” the suit states.
“Wilpon told her that, when she gets a ring, she will make more money and get a bigger bonus,” the suit states.
Wilpon told Castergine that “something had changed” in Castergine
after the birth of her child — “with still no ring on her finger,” the
suit states. “Wilpon told her that she was no longer as ‘aggressive” as
she used to be.”
When the first female senior vice president in the team’s 52-year
history complained about Wilpon’s behavior to the team’s human resources
department, she was abruptly terminated, according to the suit.
Castergine, who previously worked for the Philadelphia 76ers, Orlando
Magic and Boston Bruins, is suing Wilpon personally as well as the team
Her suit takes a stinging shot at the Mets while describing her working conditions during her four years with the team.
“In particular, the Team’s front office has failed to field a winning
team in six years, including 2014, and has made a series of public
relations blunders that too frequently led to the franchise being
ridiculed in the sports pages,” the suit states.
“The team’s ownership and front office have only made things worse,”
the suit states, noting that the Mets alienated their fan base by
denying obvious financial difficulties while failing to sign big-name
“Some fans had become so disenchanted that they pledged not to attend
any games until there was a change in ownership,” the suit states.
“Others compared Castergine’s job to selling ‘deck chairs on the
Titanic’ or ‘tickets to a funeral.'”
The Mets did not immediately return a call for comment.