Erika Ross Smith, a former Golden State Warriors employee, filed a sexual harassment lawsuit on Wednesday alleging that star guard Monta Ellis started sending her racy text messages in November 2010, one of which included a photo of his genitals. In the lawsuit, she also claims that the Warriors covered up for Ellis by changing her job description and eventually firing her after Ellis' wife learned of the texts and complained to the team in January of 2011.
Shortly after Smith and her attorney, Burt Boltuch, held a press conference at his Oakland office, Warriors president Rick Welts issued a statement denying the allegations.
"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," he said. "The Warriors have never taken any action against the plaintiff for any inappropriate reason, and we deny the allegations she is making."
Ellis also responded to the lawsuit, telling KTVU-TV that "it's a legal matter, we'll let it play its course."
Boltuch, who revealed at the press conference a photo of what Smith claims to be Ellis' genitalia, fired back at Welts claiming that the relationship between his client and Ellis "was absolutely, unequivocally 100 percent not consensual."
Boltuch told Deadspin that they showed the photo to reporters "so they would know we were serious."
The 26-year-old, the team's captain and last year's leading scorer, scored 19 points and recorded six assists in Golden State's preseason loss to Sacramento on Tuesday night.