Rick Pitino said the phone call informing him of Louisville's escort scandal involving former staff member Andre McGee was among the most "disturbing" of his life.
Pitino wrote in his memoir, "PItino: My Story," that he was in Mexico City coaching the Puerto Rican national team when Louisville sports information director Kenny Klein called to tell him that self-proclaimed "escort queen" Katina Powell had written a book alleging stripping and sex with underage Louisville basketball recruits, according to an excerpt published by Sports Illustrated.
Pitino called his former assistant Kareem Richardson, who had hired McGee and was at the time coaching at University of Missouri at Kansas City, and asked him to add McGee to their call.
Pitino said McGee referred to Powell as a party planner and said he "fooled around with her a little bit," but the graduate assistant denied he ever arranged stripper shows or paid for women to have sex with recruits.
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Pitino said he told McGee his career would be over if the allegations were true.
"I was enraged just by the fact that Andre had admitted he knew the woman making these outrageous charges," Pitino wrote. "To me, that suggested the stories this woman was spinning weren’t fiction."
Following the phone call, Pitino said he sent a text message to McGee: "I’ve had to endure much more difficult times in my life. If you are telling the truth, and money was not exchanged, it will pass. People are lying and the truth will come out. You made a mistake, tell the truth and your problems will become part of your past. I love you, son, and will stick by you if you tell the truth to the end."
Pitino also expressed his doubts about Powell's credibility, writing that Powell "seems to want to portray herself as a shrewd survivor, proud she has figured out a way to get paid—by providing sex and strippers and pimping other women—and spend her days high on pot."
However, Pitino wrote, "Part of me thinks, on some level, those are the words of a person who has been victimized herself and doesn’t realize it."
Pitino said McGee had been advised by his attorney, Scott Cox, not to comment on the allegations because there is no statute of limitations on potential charges of prostitution.
But Pitino said he believes McGee's silence "had hung the entire Louisville department out to dry."
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