The estranged daughter of Alaskan crab boat captain and cable TV personality Sig Hansen alleges that her father sexually abused her as a toddler, according to interviews and court records published by the Seattle Times.
As a result of the alleged abuse, Melissa Eckstrom, now a 28-year-old family law attorney in Seattle, contends in a lawsuit that she battled depression, eating disorders, suicidal thoughts and other trauma. She also claims that she still harbors memories of her father’s abuse of her as a 2-year-old in 1990.
“I have memories … of being in a room alone with my father and crying out in pain,” Eckstrom stated in a court declaration, according to the Seattle Times.
Her lawsuit, filed in King County Superior Court last year, includes medical findings, a therapist’s evaluation and a state Child Protective Services supervising caseworker’s findings from the time of the alleged abuse, among other records, the Seattle Times reports.
Hansen has reportedly denied the allegations and called the lawsuit “completely frivolous.”
The case now hangs in legal limbo while the state Court of Appeals decides whether a King County judge’s ruling that would allow it to go to trial is legally sound. The appeals court’s decision could shape legal precedent in Washington for determining whether victims of alleged childhood sex abuse can pursue claims as adults, even though such abuse allegations have been adjudicated in prior civil proceedings.