OAKLAND -- A former Warriors employee sued guard Monta Ellis and the team on Wednesday for sexual harassment. Erika Smith, who had been the Warriors director of community relations, claimed Ellis sent her dozens of texts of a sexual nature.Smith filed the lawsuit in Alameda County Superior Court."We responded already," Monta Ellis said from a charity event in Alameda. "I'm just here to put a smile on this friendly face. It's a legal matter, it will play it's course. You know, whatever happens happens."
According to Smiths attorney, Burton Boltuch, the Warriors changed Smiths job title when Ellis wife made the team aware of the texts. Boltuch said Smith was eventually fired in an effort by the team to rid themselves of the possible complaint.
"I was treated unfairly, I was let go," Smith said at a Wednesday news conference. "I love my job, I loved what I did."Neither Warriors coach Mark Jackson nor general manager Larry Riley commented on the suit on Tuesday night in Sacramento."On a micro level, my client has endured unwanted harassment, has suffered and continues to suffer emotional distress and trauma," Smith's lawyer said. "On a macro level, this type of conduct, especially in the sports world, must stop."Ellis led the team in scoring last season, averaging 24.1 points per game.
He signed a 66 million, six-year contract during the 2007-08 season.
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