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Former Mavericks GM Donnie Nelson alleges he was fired for reporting sexual assault of nephew

Donnie Nelson and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban

DALLAX, TX - JUNE 23: Donnie Nelson, Mark Cuban, Dennis Smith Jr., Rick Carlisle and Michael Finley of the Dallas Mavericks introduce their 2017 draft pick Dennis Smith Jr. during at a press conference on June 23, 2017 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Glen James/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

The Mavericks fired longtime general manager Donnie Nelson last year after a power struggle with fellow Dallas employee Haralabos Voulgaris.

But Nelson claims that’s not why he got fired.

Don Van Natta Jr. of ESPN:

Former longtime Dallas Mavericks general manager Donnie Nelson sued the team Thursday, alleging that owner Mark Cuban fired him last summer as retaliation for reporting that Cuban’s chief of staff sexually harassed and sexually assaulted his nephew during a job interview in 2020.

The lawsuit also alleges that Cuban offered Nelson, who was fired in June, $52 million to withdraw a wrongful termination claim and sign a confidentiality statement related to the alleged harassment and abuse of his nephew.

Nelson, in his lawsuit filed in Dallas County court, says that Jason Lutin, described in the lawsuit as Cuban’s “right-hand man” and who still works for the team, assaulted and harassed his nephew in a hotel room during the 2020 All-Star Weekend in Chicago. The nephew, a man in his 20s who is not identified in the lawsuit, had been invited by Lutin to his hotel room, the lawsuit says.

Nelson did not find out about the alleged Feb. 16, 2020, incident involving Lutin, or a subsequent settlement for an undisclosed amount that his nephew quietly reached with the team, until five months later, after he and Cuban had begun discussions to extend his contract for 10 years, the lawsuit says.

Lutin and Cuban, citing multiple investigations, denied the allegation. The Mavericks organization released this statement:

In 2018, the Mavericks were revealed to have a predatory work environment. Sexual-harrasment issues continued to emerge even after the initial investigation into the organization.