EntertainmentNetflix 'Cheer' coach's son faces child porn charges amidst further scandal

Netflix 'Cheer' coach's son faces child porn charges amidst further scandal

Monica Aldama became known thanks to the Netflix series "Cheer".
Monica Aldama became known thanks to the Netflix series "Cheer".
Images source: © Screenshot from the program
9:08 AM EST, January 24, 2024

"Cheer" became a phenomenon in 2020. This Netflix documentary series showcased the Navarro College cheerleading team's preparations for prestigious competitions in Daytona Beach. As the COVID pandemic forced everyone home, we were able to watch young and talented athletes do the seemingly impossible on the mat. "Cheer" received widespread attention, being mentioned on top American entertainment shows, including the Ellen DeGeneres Show and "Saturday Night Live." Monica Aldama, a coach renowned for her strict principles, was catapulted to stardom and was even invited to the American edition of "Dancing with the Stars."

Even before the production of "Cheer"'s second season, it came to light that Jerry Harris, one of the show's personalities, was accused of molesting underage boys, sparking a massive scandal. In July 2022, Harris, now in his 20s, was sentenced to 12 years in prison, as we reported earlier.

The controversies involving "Cheer"'s eminent figures didn't stop there. Last spring, Monica Aldama was sued for allegedly covering up a sexual assault that had occurred at her school. The victim was allegedly one of the cheerleaders. It is speculated that Aldama wished to keep the incident private for fear it may disrupt the production of the popular series.

Aldama's responses to these court cases stirred considerable controversy. She drew criticism for failing to condemn Jerry Harris's behavior unequivocally and severely, as well as for suspected hypocrisy in her public display of concern for the welfare of the Navarro team members. Discussing the Harris case in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres, Aldama said, "As a parent, my heart breaks for all those affected by this case. We faced a massive challenge and are doing our best to stay mentally strong throughout."

Meanwhile, as reported by US media, Aldama's son, 27-year-old Austin Aldama, is facing 10 charges related to not only possession but also the "intent to distribute" illicit materials. Aldama was arrested, but he was released after a $20,000 bail was posted, with a trial pending.

The case details are unknown at present, but Austin Aldama's lawyers have responded to the reports, stating that the significant interest in their client's case is purely due to his mother's celebrity status. They emphasized, "Let's be clear - Austin is innocent. The charges against him are unfounded and make no sense; we are confident that his innocence will be established in court."

Related content