LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino told police he had sex and paid for an abortion for the woman accused of trying to extort him for $10 million, The Courier-Journal reported Tuesday.
The newspaper reported on its Web site that Pitino told police he had been drinking in a Louisville restaurant and had sex with Karen Sypher in August 2003. The police report said he denied allegations by Sypher that he raped her after the restaurant closed and at another time somewhere else. He said later he gave her $3,000 for an abortion.
Sypher went to police to report the rape allegations last month. A Kentucky prosecutor said the complaint she filed with a police sex-offense unit wouldn't be prosecuted because it lacked supporting evidence.
Sypher has pleaded not guilty to federal charges of trying to extort money up to $10 million from Pitino and lying to the FBI. Pitino's lawyer, Steve Pence, said the story is about Sypher and not his client.
"Karen Sypher is indicted for extortion," Pence said. "The commonwealth's attorney has said she is void of any credibility on these 6-year-old allegations she has made." U of L sports information director Kenny Klein said Pitino was in his office on Tuesday, but directed all inquires to Pence.
Sgt. Andy Abbott, the commander of the police department's sex offense unit, asked Sypher during one interview why she waited until after she was indicted on the extortion charge to report her allegations.
She gave varying answers, according to transcripts, saying she wanted to forget about it, then that Pitino threatened her and finally that "they kept throwing crumbs to keep me happy." She didn't say what they were, the newspaper reported. Abbott asked Sypher in the interview why she was coming forward now, only after she was charged.
"Because ... where we are, it seems like retaliation," Abbott said.
"I know it does," Sypher responded.
The newspaper cited Louisville Metro Police reports from an investigation into Sypher's rape accusations. The newspaper obtained the records under the Kentucky Open Records Act. Neither Sypher nor her attorney, James Earhart, immediately return calls from The Associated Press seeking comment.