DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – An attorney for a former employee of the American Airlines Center’s management company wants to depose Mark Cuban over allegations of discrimination and an incident involving a noose.
Michelle Newsome said she was fired last year, after being the top salesperson of luxury suites for 10 out of her 13 years at the AAC. At the time, she said she was told she had missed a sales goal.
“I truly believe I was fired as a point of retaliation because of my complaints of harassment and discrimination,” she said.
In an incident Newsome says came to involve the Dallas Mavericks owner, an African American colleague allegedly discovered a hangman’s noose left in an IT closet by a contractor.
“The guy was very upset and, of course, offended because it’s hard to believe you’d have coworkers that would do something like that and think it’s okay,” said Newsome.
In a signed statement, the unnamed colleague claims “Cuban… personally removed the hangman’s noose and threw it in the trash. Cuban offered no apology, sympathy, or offer to investigate.”
“If Mr. Cuban back in 2011 when the noose was found had gone to the Arena Operating Center and said this will not be tolerated… you think that that problem would have been solved?”
In a statement to CBS11, the Arena Operating Company said, “All forms of harassment are strictly prohibited and are not tolerated… We cannot respond to any specific allegations.”
Newsome and her attorney say they simply want to get to the truth.
“I’m going to fight and I’m going to fight and I’m going to fight until justice is done,” said Newsome.
When reaching for comment, Cuban referred all questions to AAC’s general council. Cuban’s attorney, however, did respond to Newsome’s attorney, saying her issues are with her former employer, which operates the AAC, and that allegations against Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks are without merit.
Newsome’s attorney has not filed a lawsuit in connection to these allegations or requested a deposition with anyone other than Cuban.