Thomas makes strong denial of harassment claim
NEW YORK -- New York Knicks president Isiah Thomas delivered another strong statement Friday, saying he was never in love with the former team executive that is suing him for sexual harassment.
Thomas attacked the allegations made by Anucha Browne Sanders, the Knicks' former senior vice president of marketing and business operations, in a statement he gave before the Knicks' game against the Orlando Magic at Madison Square Garden.
Browne Sanders filed a lawsuit Tuesday, saying she was fired last Thursday "for telling the truth" while going through internal channels to stop the harassment. She has accused Thomas of telling her he was "very attracted" to her and "in love" with her and tried to kiss her.
"First of all, I never, ever made any sexual advances toward Anucha," Thomas said. "Nor am I in love with Anucha. Nor did I ever tell her that I was in love with her. Nor did I ever invite her to any off-site premise to have sex with her."
Thomas also read a statement Wednesday responding to the charges.
Reached by telephone, Kevin Mintzer, an attorney for Browne Sanders, said he did not want to comment.
Thomas has received support from throughout the Madison Square Garden organization, and got more Friday from chairman James Dolan. Barry Watkins, a spokesman for Dolan, said Dolan has "total confidence in the long-term strategy of the management team."
Thomas made clear he looks forward to saying more on the matter when the time comes.
"I hope that when I'm found innocent of these allegations that you will write it and run it with the same intensity," he said. "I look forward to my day in court where I am proven right and she is proven wrong."
In court documents, Browne Sanders said Thomas often berated her and made crude comments about her to Knicks officials, telling them not to listen to any of her directions. She also charged that last month, he hugged and tried to kiss her, and when she pulled away, he said, "What, I can't get any love from you today?"
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press