Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Thomas court filing calls harassment suit 'meritless'
NEW YORK -- Knicks president Isiah Thomas denies sexual harassment charges, saying a disgruntled former team executive who sued him brought groundless claims in a "meritless lawsuit" to harass him and extort money.
In papers filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan,
Thomas repeated denials he has made publicly since accusations were
made in January by Anucha Browne Sanders, the Knicks' former senior
vice president of marketing and business operations.
She contends she was fired in January "for telling the truth"
while going through internal channels to stop the harassment. She
has accused Thomas of telling her he was "very attracted" to her
and "in love" with her and tried to kiss her.
In seeking a dismissal of the lawsuit, Thomas said Browne
Sanders brought the action to harm him and secure a financial
payout from him and Madison Square Garden.
"Many of the allegations are without any factual support, and
those that have some semblance of accuracy have been distorted,"
according to the papers.
They said Browne Sanders' "inability to accept the changes that
occurred under Thomas' leadership fueled her antipathy towards
Thomas and are reflected by this meritless lawsuit."
In court documents, Browne Sanders said Thomas often berated her
and made crude comments about her to Knicks officials, telling them
not to listen to any of her directions.
In its own court papers, the Garden said Browne Sanders' firing
was for legitimate business reasons.