Big 12 News

Texas Assistant Jeff Banks, Girlfriend Sued Over Alleged Monkey Attack

jeff banks wife

Texas assistant coach Jeff Banks and his girlfriend, Danielle Thomas, have been sued by a couple who say Thomas’ monkey bit their child in the backyard of Banks’ house on Halloween night.

The lawsuit was filed in Travis County District Court in Austin on Thursday on behalf of Amy and Casey Clinkenbeard and their child. It seeks damages for gross negligence and defamation.

ESPN obtained a copy of the lawsuit, which identified the child as C.C., and who was trick-or-treating with two friends on Halloween and was invited to attend a haunted house. The lawsuit says that, after completing the haunted house, the child and his friends were taken to a monkey that Thomas kept in the backyard. The lawsuit says the child was told the monkey was trained to give high fives.


However, that’s when things went downhill. Thomas’ monkey allegedly, “aggressively bit down on C.C.’s hand and refused to let go,” adding, “C.C. was forced to manually pry the monkey’s jaw open. There was so much blood that C.C. was unable to see the full extent of the injury.”

The child’s hand was treated by a local physician and the lawsuit says the doctor and another neighbor went to Thomas to discuss the incident. The doctor told Thomas that a report would have to be filed with the health department, “and that additional information on the monkey’s vaccination status would be appreciated so that an appropriate course of treatment for C.C. could be decided.”

Thomas was allegedly more concerned about losing her monkey than she was about the child’s well being. Thomas allegedly stated to the physician that the monkey had bitten her before and that she was fine, implying that the monkey therefore did not have rabies.


Thomas is also referred to in the lawsuit as “Pole Assassin” dating back to her time as a dancer. She even appeared on Jerry Springer in 2017 as “Pole Assassin” and performed.

Here’s the video.

Banks came to Texas under Steve Sarkisian, as the two worked together under Nick Saban. He is listed as the assistant head coach, tight ends coach and special teams coordinator.

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