When Georgia Tech men's basketball coach Josh Pastner filed a defamation lawsuit in December against a friend and his girlfriend, the ugly legal fight was just beginning.
The counterclaim comes after Pastner filed a civil suit against former booster Ron Bell, who provided impermissible benefits to Yellow Jacket basketball players Tadric Jackson and Josh Okogie, who were both suspended three and six games respectively by the NCAA for the violations.
Last month, Pastner filed a defamation lawsuit against Bell and Pendley, saying the Oro Valley couple was trying to defame and blackmail him by accusing him of breaking NCAA rules.
Pastner is accused of an incident in 2016 that occurred first when he was the head coach at Memphis, before leaving for Georgia Tech.
Pendley then began to cry and asked for Pastner to stop, but the lawsuit alleges he did not and instead threatened her not to say anything because he was the head coach of the basketball team and knew "very powerful people who would make Pendley's life "a living hell" if she ever mentioned" it. Pendley has not reported the allegations to police, but said Thursday that she is considering filing charges.
Since Bell's initial accusation, he and Pendley have come forward with more details on Pastner's alleged sexual assault. The statement goes on to highlight Bell's alleged criminal past and "long history of dishonest and antisocial behavior". For these reasons, he says, their families have turned against them in the case.
The following is a statement from Josh Pastner's lawyer, Scott Tompsett. "My family and I are victims of fraud and extortion and the extent to which these individuals have gone to harm us is truly unfathomable".
Georgia Tech lost 77-54 to Louisville on Thursday to fall to 11-13 overall and 4-7 in the ACC.