A female security official for the NBA said in a lawsuit Geno Auriemma, coach of the women's U.S. Olympic basketball team, followed, grabbed and tried to forcibly kiss her at a hotel during a tournament in Russia in 2009.
NBA security official sues
Olympic coach Auriemma
A female security official for the NBA said in a lawsuit Monday that Geno Auriemma, coach of the U.S. Olympic team, followed, grabbed and tried to forcibly kiss her at a hotel during a tournament in Russia in 2009.
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The security officer, 46-year-old Kelley Hardwick, said in the lawsuit she pushed him away. The suit was filed in New York Supreme Court.
This year, the suit claims, Auriemma retaliated for her rebuff by successfully demanding the NBA remove Hardwick as the top security official for the U.S. women’s team at the London Olympics. She served as a security official for the women’s team at the 2004 and 2008 Games.
Hardwick, a law-school graduate and a former New York City undercover narcotics detective, accused Auriemma, the NBA and USA Basketball, which oversees the Olympic team, of employment discrimination.
“I was willing to close this story in 2009,” Hardwick told The New York Times. “If Geno had not interfered with my job and my livelihood, I would not have filed this lawsuit.”
Auriemma, 58, perhaps best known as the University of Connecticut’s coach, said in a statement, “This claim is beyond false. I will defend myself to the fullest, and I’m confident that the truth will ultimately prevail.”
Hardwick said Auriemma talked to her and another woman at a hotel bar in Yekaterinburg, Russia, in 2009. After the women excused themselves to go to their rooms, Auriemma also got on the elevator.
Hardwick told The New York Times she was walking toward her room when Auriemma “puts his hand on my left arm and goes to kiss me. I grabbed his face and mushed him.”
Hardwick said she shouted: “You better check yourself before you get hurt!”
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