Geno Auriemma, coach of the UConn women’s basketball team, as well as the U.S. women’s national team, is now the target of a lawsuit by a female NBA security official, who claims that the coach grabbed and tried to kiss her in 2009, but that she refused.
The plaintiff, Kelly Hardwick, filed the suit in the State Supreme Court in Manhattan, and stated that Auriemma retaliated to her refusal, demanding that the NBA remove her as the top security official for the U.S. women’s team at the London Olympics, according to AOL Sporting News.
The New York Times reports that Hardwick stated in an interview last week that:
“I was willing to close this story in 2009. If Geno had not interfered with my job and my livelihood, I would not have filed this lawsuit.”
In response, Geno Auriemma stated by email that:
“I was unaware of this lawsuit until hearing about it in media reports today and therefore will have no comment.”
In the lawsuit, Hardwick, who is a 46-year-old lawyer and former New York City police detective, has accused both Auriemma, the NBA, and USA Basketball of employment discrimination over her removal from the security detail for the upcoming Olympics. She was the top security official for the women’s team in Athens in 2004, as well as in Beijing in 2008.
CT Post reports that Kelly Hardwick informed NBA officials in 2009 that the incident occurred, but she decided not to pursue it then. The NBA’s chief counsel has already looked into the complaint about the decision to remove her, telling her in April that the decision had nothing to do with Geno Auriemma.