TESTIMONY: Sypher called her alleged actions "stupid" - WDRB 41 Louisville News

TESTIMONY: Sypher called her alleged actions "stupid"


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Louisville, Ky. (WDRB-TV Fox 41) -- Jurors heard testimony Monday that Karen Sypher referred to her alleged actions that led to her indictment for extortion as "stupid."  The source of the information is also the third person to say he had an affair with Sypher while she was still married.

Tyree Fields testified he met Sypher in 2008 at a mall and said they launched into an immediate and intense sexual relationship.  It was when Fields returned to Louisville after Sypher's indictment in April 2009, that they had a potentially damning conversation.

Sypher has pleaded not guilty to extortion and retaliating against Pitino for going to police last year with her claims of rape.  She's also accused of asking for money in exchange for keeping quiet.  State prosecutors found the rape claims were bogus and did not charge Pitino.

Fields said Karen Sypher knew exactly what he was talking about in late April 2009, when he asked Sypher about her indictment for extortion against Rick Pitino.  Fields said he asked Sypher, "What in the heck did you do? Why did you do that?"

Fields then said Sypher replied, "I know it was stupid. I shouldn't have done it."

Fields said he and Sypher had become confidants and she talked of a failing marriage and looking for what he called "financial resources" to leave her then-husband, Pitino aide Tim Sypher.

Also on Monday, Randy Wise, one of Sypher's ex-husbands, told jurors that his former wife turned down a plea deal in order to get the Louisville basketball coach.

Wise testified that Sypher said in the summer of 2009, "I'm going down. I'm going to take Pitino with me." Wise said Sypher made the comments about two months after she had been charged.

Wise also testified that Karen Sypher told him, "I got something on Pitino. He offered me $100,000. I want half a million."  It's a first indication at trial that Pitino may have tried to settle the situation before turning to federal authorities.

Another witness, a Louisville police investigator, said he told Sypher that she was "all over the place" as she filed a police report accusing him of rape.

Sgt. Andy Abbott also told Sypher in July 2009 that her report sounded like retaliation because she filed it six years after the alleged attack and three months after she was charged federally with extortion.

Earlier, Karen Sypher's divorce attorney says somebody had to stand up against Rick Pitino and he was the man to do it.

The second week of Sypher's extortion trial began with a second day of testimony from her former attorney Dana Kolter.  He teared up several times on Monday as he described Karen Sypher coming to him in March of last year.

Kolter said he believed Sypher's charges that she had been raped by Pitino in 2003.  Kolter drafted a letter to Pitino threatening a lawsuit in March of last year, and he said Sypher feared Pitino would expose her to the public.  "She was afraid of being this victim that would be castigated before all," Kolter said in court Monday.  He also said of Sypher, "She was dazed and confused acting, maybe suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. I didn't know what was going on."

Kolter said, "Somebody had to stand up."  Speaking of the letter he wrote Pitino and the threat of a lawsuit, he continued, "I thought it would bring the wrath of God upon him. I did think it was serious."

Pitino's attorneys responded initially to the letter, but eventually Pitino went to the FBI instead, resulting in the charges against Sypher.

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