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Pitino says he didn’t immediately report threats
Question of the Day
LOUISVILLE, KY. (AP) - Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino has finished testifying in the case of a woman who demanded millions from him after a sexual tryst, saying he didn’t immediately report threatening phone calls because he didn’t want his family to find out.
Pitino said Thursday that he kept quiet to “contain” potentially damaging information.
He and the attorney for Karen Cunagin Sypher, who is charged with extortion, had multiple heated exchanges during two hours of questioning Thursday.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) _ The trial of a woman accused of trying to extort Rick Pitino began its fourth day with a heated exchange Thursday between the Louisville basketball coach and the woman’s attorney.
Attorney James Earhart was questioning Pitino about allegations that he raped Karen Cunagin Sypher when the coach interrupted, saying he was “here to give the truth.” Earhart replied, “I bet you are.”
Sypher has pleaded not guilty and claims she was raped during the restaurant encounter. However, no charges were ever filed, and authorities have said her claims lacked merit.
Sypher is charged with extortion and has been accused of asking for cash, cars and a house to stay quiet about the sexual liaison.
The Louisville coach’s testimony marked the first time he’s talked publicly in detail about his July 2003 encounter with Sypher, the meeting that led to her trial this week on extortion charges. Pitino’s portrayal of Sypher as the aggressor came after several witnesses said she was flirty and persistent when she approached Pitino at the restaurant.
Pitino obliged her request to say happy birthday to her son on her cell phone. When she returned later, Pitino said, he bought the former model a drink. They lingered to talk after the restaurant had closed and the owner had gone home.
As he got up from the table, the married father of five said Sypher whispered something.
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