Editor’s note: This article includes graphic details of an alleged sexual assault.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was investigated by the Portland Police Bureau in May 2011 after a woman came forward alleging that he sexually assaulted her, according to a report by Willamette Week. Police records obtained by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nigel Jaquiss graphically detail the victim’s allegations and Cuban’s subsequent interactions with police during their investigation.
According to police reports, the incident took place in April of that year after a night of drinking at a piano bar in Portland, Oregon prior to a first-round playoff game between the Mavericks and Portland Trail Blazers. It continues, detailing that towards the end of the night, the victim asked to take a picture with Cuban before leaving the bar. While taking several pictures, Cuban allegedly reached down into her jeans and inserted a finger into her vagina.
The woman did not initially report the incident but eventually contacted the police a week after the alleged incident. She provided them with her account as well as seven cellphone images as evidence. Detective Brendan McGuire, who headed the investigation, told Cuban in a phone interview detailing the allegations made against him that, “there are two pictures. I will tell that you can’t see your hands in any of them. Frankly, the cellphone picture quality is not good enough to do that. There are two pictures that do appear to have your shoulder dipping and your arm sort of, if you follow the direction of it, down below her waist.”
“Are you kidding me?” Cuban responded.
For his part, Cuban vehemently denied the allegations to McGuire during his free-flowing, and at times expletive-laced, interview saying, “Oh! Hell no! You don’t think a hundred people would’ve noticed?”
Cuban’s lawyer, Stephen Houze, who was hired to represent him after the allegations, also denies woman’s claims saying in a statement to Willamette Week, “This incident never happened and her accusations are false.”
In July of 2011, two months after the investigation began, McGuire suspended it because “all leads have been exhausted and there remains a lack of physical or substantial circumstantial evidence.”
No charges were ever brought against Cuban.
These past allegations come to light at a perilous time for Cuban and the Mavericks organization. In February, Sports Illustrated released a damning, in-depth report stemming from a lengthy investigation into the Mavericks’ business side. It found multiple instances of alleged sexual harassment by former CEO Tederma Ussery, physical assault by an employee against two different women, including another Mavericks staffer, and a culture that turned a blind eye. Cuban was not implicated in the report.
Fallout from the SI story was swift. The Mavericks fired two employees and launched an investigation of the allegations led by Evan Krutoy and Anne Milgram. Their findings will be reported to both the Mavericks and the NBA.
The Mavericks also hired interim CEO Cynthia Marshall, formerly the senior vice president-human resources and chief diversity officer at AT&T, to lead the effort to clean up the “corrosive workplace culture” that SI detailed.
Even though the allegation from 2011 had “no corroborative evidence to support the complainant’s allegation” according to deputy DA Don Rees of the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, it raises more questions in light of Sports Illustrated’s reporting.
Right now, for Cuban and the Mavericks, it never rains but it pours.
“The NBA league office is reviewing the 2011 allegations against Mark Cuban and the subsequent findings from the Portland police investigation,” Mike Bass, NBA Executive Vice President, Communications said.