Thomas testifies at sexual harassment trial

NEW YORK – New York Knicks coach Isiah Thomas testified yesterday that he never cursed at a fired team executive who has accused him of sexual harassment.

In his second day on the witness stand at a trial in federal court in Manhattan, Thomas denied allegations in a $10 million lawsuit that he repeatedly addressed the plaintiff, Anucha Browne Sanders, as “bitch” and “ho” while they worked together at Madison Square Garden.

Degrading a woman that way “is never OK,” he told the jury of five women and three men. “It is never appropriate.”

Thomas added, “I’ve never cursed at Anucha. I’ve cursed around Anucha.”

He also calmly played down a videotaped deposition in which he suggested he would be more troubled hearing a white man calling a black woman a “bitch” than if a black man said the same thing.

“It’s very offensive for any man – black, white, purple,” he said under questioning by one of his lawyers.

Thomas, 46, also contradicted earlier testimony by Browne Sanders that during a conversation about season ticket holders, he snapped: “Bitch, I don’t give a [expletive] about these white people.”

Season ticket holders “are the backbone of how we all make a living,” he said.

The jury was sent home early yesterday after Thomas concluded his testimony. Closing arguments at the trial, now in its third week, were set for today.