Judge seals evidence in Katina Powell civil cases - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Judge seals evidence in Katina Powell civil cases

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Photo from "Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen," from Indianapolis Business Journal Book Publishing. Photo from "Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen," from Indianapolis Business Journal Book Publishing.

LOUISVILLE, Ky., (WDRB) – A judge has agreed to seal evidence in the lawsuits surrounding Katina Powell’s book, including financial records, depositions, names of citizens mentioned in journals and any other information requested confidential by attorneys in the cases.

Attorneys for the author and publisher of Powell's book, "Breaking Cardinal Rules," had asked Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Mitch Perry to prohibit "salacious" and "intimate" information about citizens mentioned in Powell's journals from becoming public in court documents.

The attorneys, who represents IBJ Book Publishing and author Dick Cady in lawsuits involving the Powell scandal, also argued Powell "has expressed concern about her safety from diehard University of Louisville fans who may seek to use her personal information to harass, stalk, or cause her harm."

And they asked Perry to seal addresses, cell phone numbers, financial data, contract negotiations and other "private" information.

On Monday, Perry signed a protective order allowing the attorneys broad power to label evidence “confidential” and keep it out of the public file. This will presumably include Powell’s 1,028 page journal and thousands of other documents.

The protective order does not include information already released in court records or in the public domain.

And the attorneys must mark the evidence confidential "in good faith," meaning they have a belief the information should be sealed because, for example, it would embarrass someone.

In a previous court hearing, Perry said he was "reluctant" to keep too much information from the public and media. 

WDRB News is reviewing the judge’s order to determine if the station will challenge the order. 

Attorney Nader George Shunnarah, who represents six women who claim they were defamed by being depicted in the book wearing lingerie and dancing at parties for U of L basketball players and recruits, said attorneys could later ask the judge to open the records.

Or, he said, the documents could become public when they are used in court.

“Many of the documents that will be filed will be filed under seal but may be opened up in the future,” he said. “But if someone’s name is in the journal but nowhere in the book, why would we want to embarrass that individual and release his name if he has nothing to do with the case?”

Shunarrah also represents University of Louisville students who sued Powell and her publisher, claiming "Breaking Cardinal Rules" has damaged the value of a degree from the school.

Powell alleges that former U of L staffer and player Andre McGee asked her to arrange for women to have intimate encounters with players and recruits.

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