Dallas Mavericks owner and tech billionaire Mark Cuban has denied a sexual assault allegation from 2011 that resurfaced this week in a report by Willamette Week, a weekly alternative newspaper in Portland, Ore.
The newspaper reported on Tuesday that local prosecutors decided not to pursue charges against Cuban seven years ago after a woman told Portland police that Cuban sexually assaulted her in a nightclub, claiming that he reached into her pants and penetrated her vagina with a finger without her permission while they posed for a photograph. Willamette Week reports that prosecutors did not press charges after finding insufficient evidence to support the woman’s claims. Meanwhile, Cuban flatly denied the allegation, telling the Associated Press on Tuesday: “It didn’t happen.”
However, the new report comes at a particularly inopportune time for Cuban, as it follows a high-profile Sports Illustrated report, published two weeks ago, detailing “a corporate culture rife with misogyny and predatory sexual behavior” in the Dallas Mavericks organization. The Sports Illustrated report includes various allegations of sexual harassment of female employees by former Mavericks team president Terdema Ussery, who left the team in 2015, while team website reporter Earl Sneed was reportedly accused of domestic assault on two separate occasions. Sneed has reportedly been fired since the publication of Sports Illustrated‘s report.
The NBA owner and star of ABC’s Shark Tank responded to the Sports Illustrated report by denying any previous knowledge of the allegations against the two former employees, with the billionaire claiming that he was “not involved in the day to day” of the business. Speaking to Sports Illustrated about the allegations last month, Cuban referenced the #MeToo movement while promising to “deal with this issue” in his organization, saying “we’ve got to fix it.”