Ex-Spurs Employee Settles Lawsuit against NBA and Former Player Josh Primo Over Repeated Indecent Exposure Allegations

Ex-Spurs Employee Settles Lawsuit against NBA and Former Player Josh Primo Over Repeated Indecent Exposure Allegations

Therapist and former consulting psychologist for the San Antonio Spurs, Dr. Hillary Cauthen settled her lawsuit against the team and ex-player Josh Primo, over the team’s handling of her allegations of the player intentionally exposing himself to her on several occasions. The therapist settled her lawsuit with the former San Antonio Spurs player and the NBA. Details were not disclosed.

In her lawsuit, Cauthen claimed that Primo exposed his genitals to her nine different times during individual private sessions, with each exposure growing in extremeness. She also claimed that she complained about Primo’s behavior to Spurs officials but said they did nothing in response and had no corrective action onto Primo due to him being an up-and-coming player
who was picked 12th overall in the 2021 NBA draft.

She sued for unspecified damages.

Primo contended he never intentionally exposed himself to Cauthen, saying that her allegations were fabricated.

Primo was suddenly waived by the Spurs on October 28, 2022. No reason was given, though Primo explained he would be focusing on his mental health. The following day, ESPN released that Primo was cut because he had allegedly exposed himself to women multiple times. He has yet to sign on with a new NBA team.

One of those women was allegedly Cauthen, who claimed she first notified the Spurs about an incident with Primo back in January 2022. However, she says the Spurs took no action and was asked to continue meeting with Primo despite her allegation of indecent exposure. Cauthen alleges Primo exposed himself to her a total of nine times and she continued to report the incidents to the Spurs, who did nothing. She eventually left the organization in the summer after her contract was not renewed. In her lawsuit, Cauthen says she lost her “dream job” because of the Spurs’ inactivity in response to her sexual harassment complaints. Total, it took the Spurs 10 months to finally act on her reports, which Cauthen found to be too late.

Cauthen claims the Spurs continued to make decisions focusing on Primo while knowing of her reports. For example, the team chose to make Primo the center of their new jersey patch campaign and guaranteed him a third year in October.

It has not been confirmed whether head coach Gregg Popovich knew about the allegations, but Cauthen apparently wanted Popovich to be told, however she is unsure if he was told.

Cauthen says she did not want to take the allegations public; however, the Spurs’ decisions made it impossible for that.

The defense on the accusations against Primo were that Cauthen is playing to ugly stereotypes and racially charged fears for her own financial benefit with this lawsuit. They argue that Cauthen falsely claimed Primo purposely exposed himself to her or anyone else and claimed he was unaware that his private parts were visible outside of his workout shorts. And they point to Cauthen never informing Primo about the exposure when she is an experienced mental health provider as a showing of the incredibility of her story.

Primo stated he has been devastated by the accusations and release by the Spurs and is in the process of seeking treatment and looking to clear his name to move forward with his NBA career.

Under California employment law and federal law, employers must take action to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. Further, employers are required to take substantive action when they receive a complaint of sexual harassment. In big cities like Los Angeles, this is well understood. Large employers like the NBA and its teams are surely aware of this. If the Spurs or NBA buried the sexual harassment allegations it would be truly shameful.

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