A student at the University of Louisville is suing self-proclaimed “escort” Katina Powell after she charged in her book that she was paid by a member of the basketball program’s staff to have sex with basketball players and recruits.
On Thursday, Louisville lawyer Nader George Shunnarah filed a suit on behalf of 19-year-old Kyle Nicole Hornback, a student at Louisville, demanding that the courts confiscate any profits from Powell’s book and award them to students purportedly maligned by the claims Powell made. Shunnarah said the book tarnishes the university and reduces the value of the education students receive there.
Shunnarah also asked the courts to make his suit a class action lawsuit so that other Louisville students might join it. Shunnarah said that “the goal here is to benefit students instead of the prostitute.”
The suit asks for punitive and compensatory damages claiming that the young student suffered damages “including but not by way of limitation to her degree, her ability to repay student loans and her ability to find employment after graduation.”
All this comes on the heels of the announcement of the publication of Katina Powell’s book, Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen. Powell claims she was paid by former assistant coach Andre McGee to give sexual favors to students.
Powell isn’t alone in the charges.
Earlier this week ESPN published a story claiming that five former top recruits said that when they visited the school they were treated to parties that included strippers and even sexual favors and it was all paid for by former graduate assistant, Andre McGee.
Many of these dancers were fully nude, some of the recruits told ESPN, and the parties continued even after some of them chose to attend UofL and joined the team.
One potential recruit noted, “I knew they weren’t college girls. It was crazy. It was like I was in a strip club.”
But a First Amendment expert told The Courier-Journal that the lawsuit had no merit.
“Whatever you think of Katina Powell, she has a First Amendment right to write about whatever she wants and it appears that at least some of what she wrote is true,” said Jon Fleischaker, a lawyer who represents the Kentucky Press Association and The Courier-Journal.
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