Gregg Popovich Addresses Lawsuit Filed Against Spurs, Joshua Primo

The Spurs coach said that he stood by the statement the team released on the matter.

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Spurs coach Greg Popovich spoke Friday on the lawsuit filed a day prior by an ex-team psychologist against the franchise and former player Joshua Primo for indecent exposure incidents, which she claims the Spurs ignored and attempted to cover up. Popovich said he stood by the statement released by the franchise in response to   

Dr. Hillary Cauthen, a licensed, credentialed clinical psychologist, said that Primo—who was waived by the Spurs on Oct. 28—exposed his genitals to her nine times during their individual private sessions, per the lawsuit. Cauthen, who started contract work with the Spurs in September 2021, first reported Primo’s behavior in January and later filed “numerous complaints” to several people in San Antonio’s leadership that included general manager Brian Wright in March and deputy general counsel Brandon James and head of human resources Kara Allen in May concerning the alleged sexual misconduct.

However, Cauthen ended up losing her “dream job” after the franchise allegedly ignored her reports of Primo’s lewd behavior. Instead of addressing Cauthen’s complaints, according to the lawsuit, the Spurs hoped the organization could “ignore and then cover up Primo’s action.”

Ahead of the Spurs’ home game against the Clippers on Friday, Popovich was asked who in the franchise knew about the allegations. He told reporters that he was not going to dive into the situation and that it was in the “hands of lawyers.” But, he stood by the statement that the organization released on Thursday in response to the suit.

“I would only add that anybody that has observed the Spurs over a very long period of time knows that an accusation like this would be taken very seriously,” Popovich said. “I’m absolutely confident in the men and women on the managerial staff who deal and are dealing with this, did so purposefully, efficiently, promptly, and did it with the utmost care for everybody concerned–the accuser, the accused, people in the organization to make sure everyone still felt comfortable and safe.”

On Thursday, the organization released a statement saying that it disagreed with the “accuracy of facts, details and timeline” of the lawsuit but would allow the legal process to play out. 

“Our organization remains committed to upholding the highest standards and will continue to live by our values and culture,” the statement read.

Tony Buzbee, the attorney who represented more than two dozen women who filed lawsuits against Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, and Cauthen announced the lawsuit during a press conference on Thursday and stated that there would be a criminal complaint filed for multiple counts of indecent exposure, per Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News.

The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office is investigating Primo, it confirmed to The Athletic Friday. 

According to the suit, Allen and James informed Cauthen that “despite her complaints, Primo would continue to participate in team activities.” However, Cauthen was allegedly later told in June that Popovich “was aware of her complaint and accusations and that he wanted to do right by her.” Per Orsborn, it is the only time Popovich is mentioned in the lawsuit.

Primo’s attorney, William J. Briggs II, released a statement Thursday in response to the suit saying that his client “never intentionally exposed himself to her or anyone else” and was not “even aware that his private parts were visible outside of his workout shorts.”

“[Primo] is now being victimized by his former team appointed sports psychologist, who is playing to ugly stereotypes and racially charged fears for her own financial benefit,” Briggs wrote. “Dr. Cauthen’s allegations are either a complete fabrication, a gross embellishment or utter fantasy.”

Cauthen did not attend the team’s Summer League play in July, a decision that was made by the Spurs. She also claimed that the organization told her that she was “unable to do her job in a professional manner due to what was now a lack of trust between her and the team,” the lawsuit says, via Orsborn.

When Primo was waived a week ago, the suit stated that the 19-year-old had reported in “at least two other incidents of exposure.” One of the two occurrences happened in Nevada while the other took place in Minnesota. 

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