Karen Sypher, family speak about Pitino's claims - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Karen Sypher, family speak about Pitino's claims

Karen Sypher and her family spoke with Fox 41 News Monday and talked about the claims University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino has made to the FBI.

Sypher says she can feel the stares from people who have heard the allegations she tried to extort money from U of L coach Rick Pitino.

"I thought, how can you judge me?" asks Karen Sypher. "You don't know. You haven't walked in my shoes. You don't know what I'm going through, what my family are going through."

Karen Sypher's mother Judy Cunigan says she's angry. She feels her daughter's side of the story is not being told:  "I feel that everyone's being very unfair to my daughter. I believe that she was set up, and I don't believe that she was able to tell the truth as to what happened. And, I think stories are going around that just are not there. There's just no substance, no truth."

Cunagin is referring to rumors and innuendo, mostly on blog sites on the Internet.

Fox 41's Candyce Clifft interviewed Karen Sypher earlier this month, and Fox 41 decided not to air that interview because we could not validate the authenticity of her claims against U of L Coach Rick Pitino.

Our station hired an independent expert to give her a polygraph test, and the results were inconclusive.  Karen Sypher says, "What they did is wrong. Everyone seems to be -- tell the truth Karen, tell the truth. Well, you know, ask them, hook them up to polygraphs.  Ask them the truth."

Sypher's claims -- of a personal nature -- are the center of the alleged attempt to extort money from Pitino.

Sypher is in the middle of a divorce from her husband Tim, who is Pitino's equipment manager.  Tim Sypher issued a statement calling Karen Sypher's allegations bizarre.

Fox 41 News tried repeatedly to contact Tim Sypher, but he could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Judy Cunigan asks, "If anyone's going to talk, why can't it be Mr. Pitino?"

Pitino has released a statement calling the allegations false and defamatory.

Karen Sypher says, "It is worse than a nightmare. I'm scared to close my eyes to sleep, and I'm scared to wake up."

The interview you just saw quoted from with Karen Sypher was done on Monday. It was not part of our interview earlier this month.

Cunagin says she talks daily with her daughter and grandchildren.  She says this has been very difficult on their family.

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