The Golden State Warriors have responded to the sexual harassment lawsuit filed against the franchise and star player Monta Ellis by a former team employee.
Warriors CEO Rick Welts sent a statement to Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News. Here are the money graphs.
“When we were made aware of a consensual relationship between Mr. Ellis and the Plaintiff, we did what an organization should do. We told both to stop – promptly, directly and fairly. The Warriors have never taken any action against the Plaintiff for any inappropriate reason, and we deny the allegations she is making.
We live in a litigious society in which lawsuits too frequently are driven by money and not the pursuit of justice. We will vigorously defend the reputation of the Warriors organization in the courts. We don’t plan to make any further comment about the details of the case.”
Interesting that the Warriors do not deny there was something going on, only the circumstances. Erika Ross Smith, the Warriors former director of community relations, denies that it was consensual in her lawsuit. She claims that Ellis made unwanted advances, specifically sending sexual text messages including photographs of his genitals.
Monta Ellis was married at the time this affair took place. That is not a criminal charge, but it certainly doesn’t make Ellis a sympathetic figure in all this.
I’m not going to pretend to know who is telling the truth here, but it is safe to say that this will get uglier for the Warriors organization before it gets better. This could become quite salacious.