Former San Antonio Spurs psychologist sues team and Josh Primo, alleging sexual misconduct

Former San Antonio Spurs psychologist Hillary Cauthen is suing Spurs and the team’s 2021 No. 12 draft pick Josh Primo over alleged incidents involving indecent exposure by Primo, lawsuit claims Thursday in Bexar County, Texas.

Cauthen will also file a criminal complaint against Primo on “several counts of indecent exposure,” his attorney Tony Buzbee said Thursday at a press conference in Houston.

“We expect them to pursue,” Buzbee said.

Cauthen was hired under contract by Spurs in September 2021. According to the lawsuit, Primo exposed himself to Cauthen nine times, starting in December 2021.

“I am a clinical sports psychologist; I am a mother of four wonderful daughters. I am a woman and I am a victim,” Cauthen said Thursday.

According to the lawsuit, Cauthen first raised concerns about Primo’s conduct with Spurs general manager Brian Wright in January 2022. Cauthen had his first meeting with Wright on March 21 and has continued to raise concerns at about Primo, expressing to Wright that she felt uncomfortable meeting Primo alone, the lawsuit says.

After meeting Wright, Cauthen alleges that she continued to be called upon to visit Primo. Cauthen met with Wright again in April to express his frustration and concern that no action had been taken, according to the lawsuit. Wright asked Cauthen “what consequence” she wanted it to happen, and Cauthen replied that she felt it was up to the team to fix the situation, the suit says. Wright then informed her that the organization’s legal team would be in touch with her.

According to the lawsuit, in May Cauthen repeatedly met with lawyers from the Spurs organisation, including its deputy general counsel as well as the legal director and general counsel, and was promised an investigation would take place. . At this time, Cauthen was instructed to avoid contact with Primo and was informed that the team was preparing a “draft”.

A week or so later, after asking for an update on the status of the investigation, Assistant General Counsel Brandon James and Human Resources Manager Kara Allen told Cauthen that Primo would continue to participate in the activities of the team and suggested Cauthen work from home, according to the suit.

In June, James and Allen revealed they had spoken with Primo, according to the lawsuit, and suggested engaging in a conversation with Primo to address his behavior. Cauthen refused.

At a meeting later in June, James and Allen informed Cauthen that the franchise was considering a “corrective process for timely incident reporting.” They also informed Cauthen that head coach Gregg Popovich “knew about her complaints and accusations and that he ‘wanted to do the right thing for her’.”

Spurs, who could not immediately be reached for comment, waived Primo last week. He had played in four games this season, averaging 7.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game on 34.6 percent shooting from the field.

William J. Briggs, II, Primo’s attorney, released a statement Thursday, defending the charges against his client.

“Josh Primo is a 19-year-old NBA player who has endured a lifetime of trauma and challenges,” Briggs said. “He is now a victim of his former team-appointed sports psychologist, who plays with ugly stereotypes and racist scares for his own financial gain.”

The statement went on to deny the accusations Primo exposed himself, calling them “complete fabrication, gross embellishment or outright fantasy. Josh Primo never intentionally exposed himself to her or anyone else and didn’t even know his private parts were visible outside of his workout shorts.

This story will be updated.

(Photo: Daniel Dunn/USA Today)

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