Knicks' Isiah Thomas charged with sexual harassment

"Foul!" cries the New York Post.

Published January 25, 2006 4:31PM (EST)

In other sexual harassment news from the sports page, "Isiah Thomas is a foul-mouthed, slobbering harasser who propositioned the Knicks' former top marketing exec for sex -- and even plotted to lure opposing teams to boozy strip joints to throw off their games." That's the New York Post's legalese for the charges in an "explosive" lawsuit filed against Knicks president and hoops legend Thomas by Anucha Browne Sanders, the team's former senior vice president of marketing.

"Contrary to Thomas' carefully cultivated public persona, he is capable of abhorrent behavior in private," reads the claim, which describes both sexual insults and advances allegedly made by Thomas and other players, including Stephon Marbury. The lawsuit also alleges that Sanders was fired, fishily, after she complained. It demands her reinstatement and payment of damages (amount unspecified).

Thomas' lawyers, Peter Parcher and Sue Ellen Eisenberg, claim that the lawsuit is no more -- or no less -- than extortion. "This lawsuit is a blatant attempt by Anucha Browne Sanders to get a large sum of money from Madison Square Garden by taking advantage of the celebrity status of our client."

If Browne Sanders' allegations turn out to be substantiated, we'll be curious to see to what degree Thomas' "celebrity status" plays a role in his defense.

By Lynn Harris

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

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