Pitino Testifies At Sypher Trial

by Rick Howlett on July 28, 2010

University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino took the stand Wednesday in the federal extortion trial of Karen Sypher.

Pitino told jurors that he first met Sypher at Porcini restaurant on July 31, 2003 after dinner with friends. He said the two remained in the restaurant bar after closing time and had a brief consensual sexual encounter before Sypher drove him home.

Pitino contends the extortion took place last year, when Sypher threatened to go public with allegations that he forced himself on her if he did not meet certain financial demands.

He said he did give Sypher three-thousand dollars to buy insurance after she told him she was pregnant, but did not pressure her to get an abortion, as she has claimed.

There was a standing room only crowd of media and spectators in the federal courtroom, where cameras and microphones are not permitted.

The trial is expected to continue into next week.

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