Mark Cuban’s NBA team goes wild over ex-GM’s explosive suit

Mark Cuban’s NBA team has hit back at an explosive lawsuit filed this week by its former general manager, who alleged he was fired last year after telling the billionaire that a team executive had harassed and sexually assaulted his nephew.

In the team’s filing on Friday, Cuba’s attorneys disputed those claims and alleged that former Dallas Mavericks general manager Donnie Nelson threatened to release information, including an employee’s sexual orientation. from the team, unless he got what was, “effectively, blackmail”. payment” up to $100 million.

Nelson’s lawsuit, filed Thursday, made a number of serious allegations against Cuban and the Mavericks – who previously faced allegations of a ‘corrosive work culture’ following a 2018 Sports Illustrated investigation.

The central allegation in Nelson’s lawsuit concerned the 2020 All Star weekend in Chicago. A number of team executives had gathered for the event, including Cuban “right-hand man” Jason Lutin, according to the lawsuit.

Nelson’s adult nephew was apparently interested in working in sports and entertainment, so he and Lutin had lunch with other members of Nelson’s family to discuss career prospects, according to the lawsuit.

Afterwards, however, Leprechaun allegedly invited the unnamed nephew back to his hotel room, apparently to talk about potential jobs. Instead, according to Nelson’s claims, he harassed and sexually assaulted her. The filings did not provide detailed details of the alleged misconduct.

Nelson claimed his nephew eventually reported Lutin to the Mavericks and received a settlement from ‘Cuban and the Mavericks’ so the issue ‘could be swept under the rug’ – but the general manager said he had none not been informed.

Lutin did not respond to a text message from The Daily Beast, although on Thursday he called the allegations a “complete lie” in an email to ESPN. “What is this man [Nelson] done to someone like me is absolutely indescribable,” he added.

Nelson’s lawsuit claimed that he eventually became aware of the alleged aggression and repeatedly confronted Cuba about the situation.

He claimed their relationship then devolved and that Cuba “abruptly fired” him, although the billionaire eventually offered him a $52 million settlement if he withdrew a lawsuit he had filed with the police. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and agreed to certain confidentiality requirements, according to the complaint.

(In an email to The Daily Beast, Cuban said Lutin previously left the Mavericks because of Nelson, but returned after the general manager was fired.)

In the Mavericks’ legal response, the team offered a markedly different version of events compared to Nelson.

According to the filing, Nelson approached the billionaire in the summer of 2020 with ‘alleged outrageous allegations from a family member’ that he said he could ”get him out’ in exchange for a contract. long-term work”.

The allegation related to Nelson’s 29-year-old nephew, the response said. Representatives for Cuban told Nelson to contact the police if an assault took place, but the general manager insisted none had taken place, according to the filing.

The team then began to investigate the case, Cuba’s lawyers wrote, with the cooperation of nearly all of the affected Mavericks employees, who provided text messages to investigators.

“The one curious exception was Nelson,” the filing says. He further claimed that the allegations about Nelson’s nephew “were not as sensational” as the former chief executive has now portrayed in court documents and that no assault took place. Cuba’s response, however, did not dispute that Nelson’s nephew received a financial settlement.

Cuban’s lawyers claimed that Nelson’s firing had nothing to do with the situation, but rather poor job performance, the “diversion of his time and attention” to dozens of other business projects and unspecified violations of team human resources policies.

Last November, after he was fired, Nelson’s attorneys sent the Mavericks a letter demanding a cash settlement, which they later pegged at $100 million or more, according to the filing. If the team failed to comply, the ousted chief executive reportedly threatened to release information that would embarrass the team and other parties, including his former billionaire boss.

In a statement to The Daily Beast, one of Nelson’s lawyers, Rogge Dunn, supported the original complaint.

“The Mavericks claim that in August 2020 Nelson approached Mark Cuban and said ‘he could clear up’ outrageous family member allegations ‘in exchange for a long-term contract'” , he wrote.

“If this allegation is true, the Mavericks would not have continued to employ Nelson for another 10 months and would have reported his alleged extortion to the police.”

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