Madison Square Garden Settles Sexual Harrassment Suit for $11.5 Million

Madison Square Garden Settles Sexual Harrassment Suit for $11.5 Million

Published February 11, 2008

Posted Dec. 11, 2007 – New York’s Madison Square Garden reluctantly settled the sexual harassment suit Monday filed by a former employee.

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Anucha Browne Sanders, the former executive who accused Knick coach Isiah Thomas of calling her a ‘ho’ and using other profanities towards her, reportedly settled for $11.5 million, according to Newsday.

That amount is $100,000 less than what a federal jury awarded her in punitive damages in October.

“The jury’s verdict in this case sent a powerful and enduring message that harassment and retaliation at Madison Square Garden will not be tolerated,” Brown Sanders said in a statement released by her attorneys.

However, from what Madison Square Garden officials are saying, their agreement to settle was grudgingly to say the least.

“The [trial] outcome was a travesty of justice and we vehemently disagree with the jury’s decision, however at the strong request of Commissioner Stern and in the interest of focusing on basketball, we can all agree that it is time for us to move on and put this issue behind us,” Garden officials said in a statement.

And Thomas is not backing down from his original statement of innocence either.

“As I have said before, I am completely innocent,” he told Newsday. “This decision [to settle] doesn’t change that.” During the jury trial, jurors could not come to a consensus on whether the coach was involved in Browne Sanders’ firing or not, so on that claim, there was a mistrial reports the newspaper.

But the jury did find that the Garden had sexually harassed her and fired her in January 2006 in retaliation when she complained of improper conduct.

The case had been scheduled to go before a Manhattan judge later this week, but with this settlement it is unnecessary.

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Written by BET-Staff

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