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Warriors’ Guard Monta Ellis Sued for Sexual Harassment
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The Golden State Warriors are already dealing with adversity and the regular season has yet to begin. The Warriors will open the season as the nightcap of an exciting day of games on Christmas Day when they face the new-look Los Angeles Clippers. The strongest area of the team, its backcourt, is already facing some problems.
A former employee of the Golden State Warriors has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against starting guard Monta Ellis. To make matters worse, Stephen curry, the other starting guard in the backcourt, will be out for the Christmas Day game because of a sprained ankle. Curry said he is hoping for a Christmas miracle to get into the lineup.

Even though Monta Ellis is healthy, he is now facing a sexual harassment lawsuit against him. Former Warriors employee, Erika Ross Smith, filed the lawsuit on Wednesday against Ellis, who is 26 years old. The lawsuit alleges that Ellis sent unwanted texts that were of a sexual nature, even one that included a photo of his genitals. Also named in the lawsuit is the Golden State Warrior team. The allegations have been denied by the Warriors, as the franchise claims that Smith and Ellis had a consensual relationship.

  
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The attorney for Smith, Burt Boltuch, said that his client has continued to suffer emotional distress and trauma as a result of dozens of explicit text messages sent to her. Those messages were sent between November 2010 and January 2011, while Smith was an employee for the Golden State community relations office.

“She was embarrassed. She was intimidated. She felt scared and helpless,” Boltuch said, according to the Washington Post.

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Smith rejected the advances of Ellis, according to her attorney. Last December, after Ellis had complained to the team about Smith’s job description, Smith was sent a photo of Ellis’ genitalia.

The lawsuit also claims that Smith’s job description was changed by the team after Ellis complained and that she was fired after Juanuka Ellis, Monta Ellis’ wife, found out about the texts and complained to executives of the team.



Rick Welts, the president and chief operating officer of the Warriors, released a prepared statement:

“When we were made aware of a consensual relationship between Mr. Ellis and the Plaintiff, we did what an organization should do. We told both to stop — promptly, directly and fairly. The Warriors have never taken action against the Plaintiff for any inappropriate reason, and we deny the allegations she is making.”

Smith has also worked for the Washington Wizards and the Phoenix Suns of the NBA. She said it was extremely difficult to come forward with the allegations because, as she put it, “I knew that essentially my career is over.”



 

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