August 15, 2009

Pitino ‘forced abortion’ claim said false

A woman's accusations that Rick Pitino forced her to have an abortion are a fabrication, the University of Louisville basketball coach's attorney says.

Pitino reportedly has admitted to police he had sex with Karen Sypher in 2003 at a Louisville restaurant and later paid her $3,000 after she said she wanted an abortion but had no health insurance. But Sypher's claims that Pitino forced her to undergo an abortion are refuted by calls she recorded, attorney Steve Pence told Saturday's Louisville Courier-Journal.

The newspaper said Pence in a statement cited voice mail messages recorded by Sypher in which Pitino reportedly says the decision on whether to have the procedure has to be your call, and adds, without mentioning the word abortion, It's a woman's choice.

Sypher made the allegations Friday in a story published by the New York Post She has pleaded not guilty to charges of extortion and lying to the FBI.

Ms. Sypher's statements otherwise are part of her continuing attempt to embarrass Coach Pitino, which she promised to do in her attempt to extort money from him, Pence said.