Ex-employee settles sexual harassment lawsuit against Golden State Warriors

Friday June 8th, 2012

Monta Ellis, Golden State Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks The Golden State Warriors settled a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by an ex-employee over the alleged conduct of Monta Ellis. (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

A former community relations director for the Golden State Warriors settled her sexual harassment lawsuit against the team and former player Monta Ellis last month, the Oakland Tribune's Paul T. Rosynsky reports.

Erika Smith, the former employee, claimed that Ellis had repeatedly texted suggestive messages to her, including a picture of his genitalia. She also said that the organization tried to cover up the incident.

Smith was fired, she says, after the texts were discovered and she was accused of initiating the messaging. She turned down a cash payment from the team to resign and was fired a few months later, the lawsuit said.

The team denied the allegations. At the time, team president Rick Welts said: "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."

Ellis was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks during the season.

No terms of the settlement for the lawsuit, filed last December, were announced. "All I am allowed to say is the case is dismissed; you have to read into that what you want," Burton Boltuch, Smith's attorney, told Rosynsky. "When you settle a case, you always dismiss it."

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