Attorneys ask Louisville judge to unseal evidence in Katina Powell lawsuit
Attorney J. Andrew White said in a motion filed Monday that “it is very clear” lawyers for the author and publisher of Powell's book wanted the evidence sealed to protect the defendants from “embarrassment.”
LOUISVILLE, Ky., (WDRB) – An attorney for several women who claim they were defamed by Katina Powell’s book, "Breaking Cardinal Rules," has asked a judge to set aside a protective order that sealed evidence in the case from the public and media.
After reviewing the evidence, attorney J. Andrew White said in a motion filed Monday that “it is very clear” lawyers for the author and publisher of Powell's book wanted the evidence sealed simply to protect the defendants from “embarrassment.”
In the motion to Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Mitch Perry, White wrote that “there is no good cause” shown as to why the evidence should be hidden from the public. The motion will be made in court on Aug. 14.
The protective order allows the attorneys broad power to label evidence “confidential” and keep it out of the public file. This includes Powell’s 1,028 page journal, depositions, financial records and thousands of other documents.
Attorney Nader George Shunnarah, who also represents the women, said in an interview that they are not seeking to unseal personal information, like the names of citizens in Powell’s journal. However, he said, there is no reason for all of the evidence to be sealed.
“If we have to try this case, it’s going to become public anyway,” he said.
The six women claim they were defamed by being depicted in the book wearing lingerie and dancing at parties for U of L basketball players and recruits.
The request to unseal evidence would not include the information turned over by the University of Louisville.
In June, all parties agreed that “documents, testimony” and other evidence produced by the school and its Athletic Association may include “confidential information” and should be sealed.
U of L is supposed to turn over evidence relating to its investigation, which prompted a self-imposed a ban on postseason play in 2016 and reduced the overall number of scholarships.
Even if that information is used in a court hearing, it will currently remain "confidential" or "attorneys eyes only" and the parties involved must still protect its "confidentially during such use," according to the order.
The order also allows for all U of L evidence to remain sealed after the case is over, with documents returned to U of L or destroyed within 60 days of the end of the litigation.
A trial has been scheduled for next year.
U of L has not disputed most of the allegations related to incidents first exposed by Powell, a former Louisville escort who claimed in the book that McGee paid her to hold parties in Minardi Hall, Louisville’s on-campus basketball dorm.
At the parties, Powell alleges, she provided strippers who made deals to have sex with Louisville basketball players and recruits between 2010 and 2014.
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