|Testimony: Thomas accuser complained to friend about bad language|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 18 September 2007 07:00|
NEW YORK (AP) -A former New York Knicks executive at the center of a sexual harassment lawsuit repeatedly complained to a friend from work that coach Isiah Thomas had berated her with foul language, according to trial testimony Tuesday.|
``What are your job responsibilities, you ... ho?'' Thomas, with an obscenity added for emphasis, told former vice president Anucha Browne Sanders in 2004, according to the secondhand account of her friend, Jeffrey Nix.
Sanders is seeking $10 million in damages on her claim that she was fired because she accused Thomas of harassment. Thomas denies the allegations.
Nix, who testified Tuesday in Manhattan's U.S. District Court, worked for the Knicks for 15 years, including stints as a bench coach and in the front office. He said he was let go last month.
Nix said he recalled a number of conversations he had with Browne Sanders in 2004.
When another executive left the room during a meeting to make a phone call, Thomas reminded Browne in obscene language that he was the president of the team.
After a Dec. 29, 2004 Knicks victory, Nix said he saw Thomas embrace Browne Sanders. She later told her friend that Thomas had stated: ``I'm in love with you.''
On Monday, jurors watched a videotaped deposition in which a mild-mannered Thomas said: ``I never cursed at Miss Sanders. ... Now have I ever used curse words around her, yes, but at her? No.''
On the tape, Thomas also said that he would find it more offensive if a white male called a black female a ``bitch,'' than if a black male used the same term when speaking to a black female.
The airing of the deposition came during the second week of a trial that has exposed the Knicks - one of the NBA's storied franchises - to damaging allegations weeks before the start of training camp. The lawsuit has portrayed Madison Square Garden as more dysfunctional frat house than hallowed basketball arena.
Associated Press Writer Pat Milton contributed to this report.
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