Witnesses testify Sypher wanted to "take down" Pitino - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Witnesses testify Sypher wanted to "take down" Pitino

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB Fox 41) -- Two witnesses testify Karen Sypher admitted to "doing something stupid" and wanted to "take down" UofL basketball coach Rick Pitino.

That surprising testimony came in day six of Karen Sypher's federal extortion trial. On the witness stand Monday was a former lover, who said Sypher admitted to trying to extort Rick Pitino. Her ex-husband later testified she turned down a plea deal from prosecutors because she wanted revenge against the UofL coach.

Karen Cunagin Sypher left U.S. District Court after two witnesses testified she acknowledged her crimes and wanted revenge against UofL basketball coach Rick Pitino. She spent the final hour of Monday's proceedings with her head buried in her hands as jurors were shown a video recording of her interview with Metro Police.

Sex crimes Detective Sergeant Abbott repeatedly asked her why she waited six years to report her allegations that Pitino raped her.

Abbott: "You said a whole lot. I am still trying to figure out why my question was."

Sypher: "I didn't go to police."

Abbott: "Six years later?"

Sypher: "Six years later?"

Abbott: "Yeah."

Sypher: "I have to explain."

Abbott: "You are all over the place. You know what I am saying? I've been sitting here waiting for several minutes."

Sypher: "They kept throwing me crumbs. Throwing me crumbs to keep me happy."

She never answered the question directly, claiming her now ex-husband Tim Sypher was paid to marry her and that he and Pitino gave her gifts and also threatened her to keep her quiet. State prosecutors found her claims were bogus and did not charge Pitino.

Earlier Monday, Sypher's former lover, Tyree Fields told jurors he had a year-long affair with her starting in 2008. He met with her in late April of 2009, three days after she was charged.

Fields said he asked Sypher, "What in the heck did you do? Why did you do that?" He said Sypher replied, "I know it was stupid. I shouldn't have done that."

Sypher's first ex-husband Randy Wise later testified Sypher turned down plea deals because she wanted revenge against Pitino, claiming she said, "If I am going down, I am going to take Pitino with me."

Wise also told jurors his ex-wife said, "I've got something on Pitino. He offered me $100,000. I want half a million."

Sypher is accused of threatening to go public with allegations Pitino raped her unless he met a list of demands that included cars, gifts and cash payments. She's also charged with retaliation and lying to the FBI.

Three witnesses have now testified they had affairs with Sypher while she was married to Tim Sypher, a longtime Pitino aide.

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