Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pitino's Alleged Accuser Says She's Scared

((HT: Louisville Courier-Journal/Andrew Wolfson))

The woman under investigation for allegedly trying to extort money from University of Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino gave an on-camera television interview yesterday, in which she said she was "scared" and misunderstood.

"How can you judge me when you ... have not walked in my shoes ... and you don't know what I'm going through?" Karen Sypher asked.

In the portion of the interview broadcast by WDRB, Sypher ((pictured, thanks Louisville Courier-Journal)) did not reveal her allegations against Pitino or any demands she may have made of him.

Sypher's lawyer, Thomas Clay, said he wasn't present at the interview and that he won't comment on the case because it is the subject of an FBI investigation.

ESPN quoted Clay as saying the FBI investigation "is about wrapped up," but Clay told The Courier-Journal that he expects no developments in the case today.

In a statement released by U of L on Saturday, Pitino said he reported threats of extortion to authorities last month. The statement did not specify the nature of the alleged threats.
FBI spokesman David Beyer has confirmed there is an investigation into Pitino's complaint but wouldn't comment further yesterday. The university said yesterday that the FBI's inquiries "have regarded a personal matter to coach Pitino and have not involved the men's basketball program itself in any way."

Beyer didn't name the target of the FBI investigation, but Clay confirmed it is Sypher, the estranged wife of U of L equipment manager Tim Sypher.

Karen Sypher filed for divorce in March.

Most documents in the divorce proceedings were sealed on April 10 under an agreement of a Family Court judge and the parties involved. According to the unsealed portion of the file, the Syphers were married on April 16, 2004, and have one daughter.

In a statement released Sunday, Tim Sypher also referred to four stepsons. He described the allegations his estranged wife had made against Pitino as "bizarre."

The court ruling sealing the divorce documents indicates that the parties agreed to explore mediation.

Candyce Clifft and our friends at Fox41 in Louisville caught up with Sypher to get her side of the story. The remainder of the interview as it ran on their air is available by clicking in black...

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