Pitino blasts media for "lies" in Sypher coverage - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Pitino blasts media for "lies" in Sypher coverage

By Bennett Haeberle, WDRB-TV Fox 41 News

U of L Basketball Coach Rick Pitino blasted the news media Wednesday, lashing out at reporters for reporting "lies" about his sexual encounter with Karen Sypher and her ongoing extortion case.

In his seven-minute tirade against reporters, Pitino took no questions but called for coverage of this scandal to stop, saying: "Enough is enough."

He specifically pointed out WDRB-TV Fox 41 News , referring to this news organization's coverage that began in April, a month after Sypher first approached the station with allegations against the coach.

"This is blackmail. I was told seven months ago that if I didn't fight it, if I fought it, my life would be pure hell. And went home to comfort my wife because it has been pure hell. And don't tell me it's been pure hell for anyone else because I'm not the one who went to Fox 41 and gave all these allegations out. I didn't bring upon this fight," said Pitino.

U of L's Athletic Department first acknowledged this scandal back in April, when it released a statement saying Rick Pitino had been the victim of an extortion attempt.

The next month, Karen Sypher was indicted on charges of lying to the FBI and trying to extort $10 million from Pitino. The FBI says the alleged plot stems from a sexual encounter the two had at Porcini restaurant in 2003.

In July, Sypher went to Metro Police with claims Pitino raped her. Pitino says the encounter was consensual. Prosecutors found Karen Sypher's claims were "void of credibility" and chose not to charge the coach.

After publicly apologizing for his "indiscretion" earlier this month, Pitino lashed tore into reporters Wednesday after Metro Police released a taped interview with Sypher.

"Enough is enough. I'm saying something. It's a lie. It's a 100 percent lie. You've known it's a lie," said Pitino.

Pitino would not specify would he called "lies" in our reporting.

He has admitted to his indiscretion and giving Sypher $3000 for health insurance, money she reportedly to have an abortion.

"No question. I admitted to you I made a mistake. I will suffer for that mistake," said Pitino.

During his news conference, Pitino encouraged U of L fans to ignore continuing coverage of this scandal.

"Just change the channel. And if the newspaper is going to write then read something else. Wait for the trial the truth will come out," said Pitino.

Karen Sypher has pleaded not guilty to her charges of extortion and lying to the FBI.

Pitino has addressed the scandal publicly three times, but has declined our numerous interview requests.

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