The wave of sexual misconduct charges against powerful men continues with another hitting the sports world, after a small newspaper in Oregon uncovered a 2011 police report that revealed a woman had accused Mavericks owner Mark Cuban of inappropriately groping her at a Portland bar.
Willamette Week reported:
In May 2011, a woman contacted the Portland Police Bureau to make an allegation against Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team and one of the most visible figures in entertainment and sports.
Her complaint? That Cuban had sexually assaulted her late one night at an Old Town nightclub.
The woman told police she encountered Cuban in late April at the Barrel Room, at 105 NW 3rd Ave., and asked him to pose with her for a photograph. While they smiled for the camera, she claimed, he thrust his hand down the back of her jeans and penetrated her vagina with his finger.
The newspaper said it got the never-before-published account through a public records request and shared the details from the police report.
And the newspaper also obtained the transcript of Cuban’s June 8, 2011, telephone conversation with Portland Police Detective Brendan McGuire.
“It’s unclear from the police report whether Cuban knew McGuire would be calling,” Willamette Week reported. “But an 18-page transcript shows that rather than summoning a lawyer, the Mavericks owner engaged the detective in a lengthy, free-flowing conversation,” the newspaper reported.
Cuban denied the allegation then and has again since the newspaper article was published.
“It didn’t happen,” Cuban said Tuesday in an email to multiple media outlets.
But the 2011 police report reveals Cuban — a billionaire and investor on the Shark Tank reality TV show — was shaken by them.
“If she told five friends right there and then, then that’s what they’re gonna tell the judge and I’m gonna be f**ked,” Cuban said. “Oh my God, I don’t know what to do.”
When Cuban asked the detective about the possible consequences from a legal standpoint, the transcript shows the following exchange:
“Well, if what she is alleging were true, then under Oregon law, let’s see, that would be a sex abuse in the second degree, which is a felony,” McGuire said. “It’s the lowest-level felony there is, but it is a felony.
“And basically, the legal definition of that is penetration without someone’s consent but not any force or threats or anything like that,” McGuire said.
“Right,” Cuban replied.
“And then as far as the consequences, I mean, that obviously that’s way down the road, possibly farther than we could even look,” McGuire said. “It’s all kind of things could happen.
“Oh my Lord,” Cuban said. “Oh my f*ck*ng Lord.
“Oh, that’s what you get for being nice,” Cuban said.
Cuban eventually did hire an attorney who, in the end, wasn’t needed in a courtroom.
Following an investigation, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office decided there was not enough evidence to file charges against Cuban.
The Willamette Week report also notes that the alleged victim of the sexual assault decided not to pursue charges but told the newspaper her account is true.
“I filed the report because what he did was wrong,” the woman said. “I stand behind that report 1,000 percent.”
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times reported on allegations about a hostile workplace in the Mavericks’ front office.
Last month, Sports Illustrated published a report that described a Mavericks front office that was “rife with misogyny and predatory sexual behavior: alleged public fondling by the team president; outright domestic assault by a high-profile member of the Mavs.com staff; unsupportive or even intimidating responses from superiors.”
Cuban was not implicated in that report.
“Obviously there’s a problem in the Mavericks organization and we’ve got to fix it,” Cuban told Sports Illustrated.