Friday, June 8, 2012
Settlement reached vs. Warriors
OAKLAND, Calif. -- A former Golden State Warriors employee has reached a settlement in a sexual harassment lawsuit against the team and former Warriors guard Monta Ellis that alleged Ellis sent her unwanted texts that included a photo of his genitals.
Erika Smith, a former community relations director for the Warriors, and the team settled out of court last month, her lawyer said Friday.
Attorney Burt Boltuch said he is not allowed to discuss specifics of the settlement. Boltuch said discussions with the Warriors' attorneys began shortly after Ellis was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in March.
"All I can say is that the matter is dismissed," Boltuch said Friday. "Ms. Smith is looking to move on with her career."
Warriors spokesman Ray Ridder said Friday that "the claims of Ms. Smith were dismissed in their entirety." He declined further comment.
Smith filed suit in December, alleging that Ellis sent her several dozen explicit messages from November 2010 through January 2011 while she worked in the team's community relations department.
The messages included lines such as, "I want to be with you," and "Hey Sexy," and he periodically asked her what she was wearing or doing, according to the lawsuit.
Smith would often reply with "What do you want?" or "I am sleeping," the lawsuit claimed. At the time the suit was announced, her lawyer also showed reporters a photo of what he said was Ellis' genitalia that the guard allegedly sent to Smith's work-issued cellphone on Dec. 17, 2010, a day after Ellis complained to the team about her job performance.
Smith also claimed that the team's owners attempted to cover up Ellis' actions.
Team officials denied Smith's allegations and said when they were made aware of a consensual relationship between Ellis and Smith, they told them both to stop.
Boltuch said the team eliminated Smith's position in August 2011, more than a week after she notified the team that a reporter contacted her inquiring if Ellis was "stalking" her.
The lawsuit alleged retaliation, wrongful termination and intentional infliction of emotional distress and sought unspecified damages.