LOUISVILLE — University of 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 Louisville newspaper reported on its Web site that Pitino told police he had been drinking in a Louisville restaurant and had consensual 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 prosecutor said the complaint she filed with a police sex-offense unit wouldn't be prosecuted because it lacked supporting evidence.
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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."
University 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.
University president James Ramsey said his thoughts were with Pitino and his family.
"Several months ago, Coach Pitino informed me about the alleged extortion attempt. I've now been informed that there may be other details which, if true, I find surprising," he said in a statement.
Neither Sypher nor her attorney, James Earhart, immediately return calls from The Associated Press seeking comment.
Sypher is married to the team's equipment manager, Tim Sypher, but divorce papers were recently filed. Tim Sypher served as Pitino's personal assistant with the Boston Celtics from 1997-2001, then followed the coach to Louisville in 2001 to become the team's equipment manager.
The criminal complaint said Tim Sypher brought Pitino a written list of demands from his wife, including college tuition for her children, two cars, money to pay off her house and $3,000 per month. The demands later escalated to $10 million, the complaint said. Tim Sypher has not been charged in the case.
Pitino recently finished his eighth season with the Cardinals, leading Louisville to a 31-6 record and the Big East regular-season and tournament titles. The Cardinals lost to Michigan State in the regional finals of the NCAA tournament.
Pitino has coached two NBA teams. He went 90-74 with the New York Knicks from 1987 to 1989 and 102-146 with the Celtics from 1997 to 2001.