A psychologist who labored for the San Antonio Spurs has sued the team and former participant Josh Primo, claiming the Canadian uncovered himself to her a number of instances throughout personal classes.
Hillary Cauthen labored as a efficiency psychologist for the team. A lawsuit filed Thursday in Bexar County alleges that the 19-year-old Primo, a local of Mississauga, Ont., uncovered his genitals to her 9 instances “regardless of her quite a few complaints about Primo’s improper sexual conduct to the group’s management.”
Cauthen spoke publicly concerning the allegations in opposition to Primo for the primary time Thursday in an emotional press convention the place she wept overtly all through.
Primo was waived by the Spurs final Friday, simply 4 video games into his second NBA season.
Primo, by his lawyer, denied any wrongdoing and lashed out at Cauthen’s claims, saying she is “enjoying to ugly stereotypes and racially charged fears for her personal monetary profit,” and calling it an act of betrayal in opposition to a shopper.
“Dr. Cauthen’s allegations are both a whole fabrication, a gross embellishment or utter fantasy,” the lawyer, William J. Briggs II, stated. “Josh Primo by no means deliberately uncovered himself to her or anybody else and was not even conscious that his personal components had been seen exterior of his exercise shorts.”
A spokesman for the Spurs didn’t instantly reply to an e-mail from The Associated Press searching for touch upon the lawsuit. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has additionally declined to remark, apart from referring reporters to a benign assertion the team launched final week when waiving Primo.
Statement from Josh Primo’s lawyer, William J. Briggs, II: <a href=”https://t.co/V6IxRvoOLM”>pic.twitter.com/V6IxRvoOLM</a>
Attorney Tony Buzbee, who filed the lawsuit, stated prison prices in opposition to Primo might comply with.
“There can be a prison grievance filed for a number of counts of indecent publicity in opposition to Mr. Primo,” Buzbee stated. “And we anticipate the authorities to prosecute.”
The lawsuit alleges that Primo first uncovered himself to Cauthen in December and that she reported the habits at the moment. According to the lawsuit, “exposures occurred on quite a few events and grew progressively extra excessive.”
Cauthen requested a gathering with Spurs basic supervisor Brian Wright in January. She stated she lastly met with him on March 21, after a number of postponements, and laid out what she alleges Primo had finished of their classes.
‘I misplaced the affect to assist others [and] I misplaced my job’
After that assembly, she was requested to satisfy with Primo once more in a public setting and the lawsuit alleges that he once more uncovered himself. He requested to satisfy along with her once more after that however she declined.
She stated she had extra conferences with Wright within the following months and met a number of instances with attorneys from the Spurs group. In July she wasn’t invited to accompany the team to the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas and, in keeping with the lawsuit, the Spurs instructed her that they felt “she was unable to do her job in an expert method attributable to what was now an absence of belief between her and the team.”
Cauthen had labored for the Spurs since April 2021. Her contract got here up for renewal on the finish of August and he or she was not retained.
“I used to be honoured and grateful to have a possibility to be embedded within the team,” she stated. “It’s very uncommon to have somebody that has the prospect to construct one thing inside a company, and I selected to construct one thing with people who I trusted. And I really feel like, extra importantly, I misplaced the affect to assist others [and] I misplaced my job.”
Buzbee stated he hasn’t been contacted by every other girls about Primo however that he expects he’ll within the coming days amid experiences that Primo has allegedly uncovered himself to others.
“It’s not about cash, clearly,” Buzbee stated. “This is about setting up formalized protocols. This wants to alter and it wants to alter now.”
Anger, saddness and confusion
Cauthen was requested how she felt when Primo was launched months after she first reported the allegations to the team.
“There’s anger,” she stated. “There’s unhappiness. There’s confusion.”
The Spurs took Primo with the twelfth general choose within the 2021 NBA draft after one season at Alabama. Primo averaged 5.8 factors, 2.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists in his rookie season with the Spurs, and seven.0 factors, 4.5 assists and three.3 rebounds in 4 video games with the Spurs this season.
The team just lately picked up his third-year possibility, a largely procedural transfer that locked in a $4.3 million US wage for subsequent season and confirmed that he was anticipated to stay within the Spurs’ plans. He was making $4.1 million this season.
Had he been claimed by one other team earlier than Monday, that team would have been accountable for the $8.4 million Primo is owed. He cleared waivers Monday and is a free agent.
Buzbee additionally represented 24 girls who sued Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson for sexual assault or harassment when he was with the Houston Texans. Watson is serving an 11-game suspension from the NFL.