After weeks of legal wrangling, it's time for the main event. Karen Sypher, right, the former car-show model and auto-glass saleswoman who had crazy sex with Louisville's Rick Pitino in a restaurant booth nearly seven years ago, goes on trial Monday in U.S. District Court in Louisville on charges of extortion, retaliating against Pitino and making false statements to federal agents.
Forty-five reporters have been accredited to cover the trial, which is expected to last two weeks. If convicted, Sypher faces up to 26 years in prison.
When Sypher had her one-night fling with Pitino, she was married to Tim Sypher, Pitino's equipment manager. Pitino, who is married with five living children, is expected to testify Tuesday.
Sypher is alleged to have demanded college tuition for her children, two cars of her choice, $3,000 a month, and her mortgage pained in full, promising "if all is accepted, I will protect Rick Pitino's name for life."
She later is said to have amended her demands to a simple $10 million. If Pitino said no, Sypher's attorney would file rape allegations as a matter of public record in her divorce from Tim Sypher.
The case is far from a slam dunk. Pitino gave Sypher $3,000 in 2003, supposedly so she could buy health insurance to pay for an abortion. A legal expert told the Louisville Courier-Journal that this "gives the defense something to work with."
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