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Spurs psychologist sues Joshua Primo, saying he exposed himself to her

A sports psychologist who worked for the San Antonio Spurs said in a lawsuit filed Thursday that Joshua Primo, a former Spurs lottery pick, repeatedly exposed himself to her during treatment sessions and that the team would not failed to protect her and the others after she reported her conduct.

Dr Hillary Cauthen, a licensed clinical psychologist who was hired by the team in September 2021, said Primo first exposed his penis to her in December 2021. She requested a meeting with the Spurs chief executive, Brian Wright, according to her complaint, but didn’t. She won’t have one until March 2022. He was then asked to continue working with Primo, who again exposed himself to her in another session, according to a copy of his lawsuit, which was provided by his attorney, Tony Buzbee.

The filing was not immediately available from the court, but the Bexar County, Texas, clerk’s office, where San Antonio is located, confirmed that Dr. Cauthen filed a lawsuit against Primo and the Spurs on Thursday.

Primo’s attorney, William J. Briggs II, said in a statement that Primo “never intentionally exposed himself” to Dr. Cauthen or anyone else and that Primo was unaware that his genitals were visible to the eye. exterior of his workout shorts.

Neither the team nor the NBA immediately returned calls seeking comment.

The Spurs cut Primo, the No. 12 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, last Friday. The team did not explain the reasons for the sudden move, which came five games into the season and two weeks after the team exercised the third-year option in Primo’s contract, securing his 4-year salary. $.3 million for the 2023-24 season.

Buzbee, who represented two dozen women who accused NFL quarterback Deshaun Watson of harassment and lewd conduct during massage appointments, told a press conference Thursday that he and Dr. Cauthen were trying to resolve the matter privately and wanted Spurs to put in place complaint handling protocols like that of Dr Cauthen. They took legal action against Primo and Spurs after an unnamed source said Primo was released because he exposed himself to multiple women.

According to the copy of his lawsuit, Dr Cauthen had several meetings with members of the Spurs organization, including Wright, the assistant general counsel and head of human resources, after complaining about Primo’s conduct. The team promised to investigate but took no immediate action to discipline Primo or ensure she did not have to interact with him, Dr Cauthen said.

The team suggested she work from home and then told her to ‘sit down’ while traveling with Spurs during the 2022 Summer League in Las Vegas after she said she was frustrated with the inaction of the team, his lawsuit said. Dr Cauthen, who is co-owner of an Austin-based performance and psychology services firm, said she was not retained by Spurs when her contract was renewed in August.

“The organization I worked for let me down,” Dr Cauthen said at the press conference. “I spoke up. I asked for help.

Buzbee said Dr. Cauthen would also file a criminal complaint in Bexar County, charging Primo with multiple counts of indecent exposure.

Primo was placed on a waiver last weekend, giving other teams the opportunity to claim him. Neither team did, and Primo became an unrestricted free agent.

In a statement announcing that the team were waiving Primo, RC Buford, the managing director of Spurs Sports & Entertainment, said: “We hope that in the long term this decision will serve the best interests of the organization and of Joshua. .” Spurs manager Gregg Popovich declined to comment to reporters at the time.

Until Dr Cauthen’s lawsuit was filed, neither Primo nor Spurs had directly addressed the reasons for his release. In a statement to ESPN last Friday, Primo said he had sought help to deal with “previous trauma” and would focus on his mental health treatment after his release.

Buzbee called the public statements made by Primo and Spurs “complete farces” and said they did not reflect what happened. Dr. Cauthen said she was “disheartened” by the situation.

“It took 10 months for Spurs to do the right thing,” Dr Cauthen said of the decision to waive Primo. “It is too long.”

nytimes sport

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