[Report] Thomas urged cheerleader to flirt with refs
The former Knicks executive who is suing coach Isiah Thomas for sexual harassment alleged in court papers that Thomas urged a cheerleader to flirt with referees and guard Stephon Marbury cursed at her, according to newspaper reports Saturday.
Anucha Browne Sanders, a former senior vice president of marketing and business operations, filed documents to answer the Knicks' attempt to have her lawsuit dismissed.
In the papers, which were unsealed Friday, Browne Sanders alleges cheerleader Petra Pope told her that Thomas encouraged Pope to flirt with officials before a game against the Nets in 2004, the Daily News reported.
"What she told me was that Isiah asked her to go into the referees' locker room and make them happy," Browne Sanders testified.
She also claimed in the documents that Marbury directed an obscenity at her after she complained about the player's cousin -- who was also employed by the team -- had made graphic sexual comments to her staff, the Daily News reported.
The New York Post reported that Marbury, in a January deposition, acknowledged calling Browne Sanders a derogatory name.
Marbury is not a defendant in the lawsuit.
The Knicks said in a statement the lawsuit was "riddled with fabrications," the newspapers reported.
Browne Sanders filed a lawsuit last year, claiming she was fired "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.
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