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Starbury is Sexbury

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by heyabbott, Sep 13, 2007.

  1. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member

    If this is a d_b, sorry, but Isiah Thomas may deserves his own board.

    BTW: I look forward to Jemele, William and Scoop providing their unique minority perspective, after all, isn't the reason for diversity in the newsroom so that we can see, here and read points of view from the minority community? I mean, if black journalists merely reported who said what where, when and how, why would it matter their personal backgrounds.

    Published: September 13, 2007

    Stephon Marbury, the Knicks’ star guard, testified in federal court yesterday that he had sex with an intern for the team after a group outing to a strip club in 2005. The intern worked for Anucha Browne Sanders, who is suing Isiah Thomas, the team’s coach and president, for sexual harassment.

    Asked to recall what he told Kathleen Decker, the intern, Marbury testified, “I said, ‘Are you going to get in the truck?’ ” She agreed, he said.

    Earlier, Browne Sanders, a former senior vice president for marketing for the Knicks, testified that Decker was one of several employees who told her about abusive behavior by Hassan Gonsalves, a cousin of Marbury who worked for Browne Sanders in a low-level job. Gonsalves got the job through Marbury’s request to James L. Dolan, the chairman of Madison Square Garden.

    Gonsalves was later fired for sexual harassment.

    Browne Sanders said that Decker described a night out with co-workers in early 2005 at the strip club during which she got drunk and accepted a ride home from Gonsalves against her friends’ advice.

    Browne Sanders said Decker told her that after she got out of Gonsalves’s car at St. John’s University, which she attended, Marbury pulled up beside them in his truck and asked if she was “getting in or not.”

    Browne Sanders said that Decker believed she could not refuse Marbury because of who he was. “She considered the sex consensual because she got in the car,” Browne Sanders testified. According to Browne Sanders’s court documents, Marbury sent Decker a text message afterward that said, “I want some more of that.”

    Decker was an intern for the Knicks, working in community relations, which Browne Sanders oversaw. She recently moved to a public relations position for the parent company, Madison Square Garden.

    The Garden is a defendant, along with Dolan, who for the third day did not attend the trial in federal court in Manhattan. The trial resumes Monday.

    Browne Sanders wept on the witness stand when she recalled telling Steve Mills, the president of MSG Sports, about Gonsalves and Marbury. The Marbury sex tale is not central to Browne Sanders’s case against Thomas and Dolan. But it is being used to show what does and does not happen when employees complain about sexual harassment at the Garden. Browne Sanders has accused Thomas of verbally, then sexually, harassing her during the two years they worked together; she said that she repeatedly told Mills to intervene but that he never did.

    Dolan fired Browne Sanders in January 2006 for what he considered interference with the Garden’s investigation of her complaints; she had been talking to employees before they were interviewed.

    If the relationship between Thomas and Browne Sanders was tense and largely unproductive, her bond with Marbury was frayed from the start. In his testimony, he said that she nastily refused to provide him credentials for family and friends who were attending his first home game as a Knick in 2004.

    “She said, ‘This isn’t Phoenix or New Jersey, we’re not doing things like that here,’ ” Marbury testified.

    She testified she had to pass his request on to Thomas, who had changed the rules to allow only relatives to get credentials.

    Subsequently, Marbury accused her of denying Gonsalves overtime pay, prompting Marbury to refer to her in vulgar terms to Dan Gladstone, who worked for Browne Sanders. Gladstone relayed Marbury’s comments to her in an e-mail message. In his testimony, Marbury said, “Yes, I called her a bitch.”

    But the most crucial factors in Browne Sanders’s lawsuit are Thomas’s behavior and her firing by Dolan. She is seeking $9.6 million in damages.

    Ronald Green, one of Thomas’s lawyers, tried to undermine testimony Browne Sanders gave Tuesday in which she said that Thomas did not care about the Knicks’ “white” season-ticket holders in scabrous language.

    Green said that in her 14-hour deposition, Browne Sanders never noted the racial comment in e-mail messages she wrote to herself and Mills, or in journal entries.

    “Steve knew about it,” she said, referring to Mills.

    She also testified that in late 2005, after complaining to Mills that Thomas had poisoned her work environment, he warned her against persisting with her harassment claims. “Steve said Isiah’s going to start a rumor about you having an affair with Jeff Nix” —a Knicks assistant general manager at the time — “and I said, ‘Is this a threat?’ ”

    She said that Mills dissuaded her from hiring a lawyer.
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