The lawsuit, which was filed by Pastner's long-time friend and Arizona resident Ron Bell, and Bell's girlfriend Jennifer Pendley, is a counterclaim in response to a defamation claim filed against the couple by Pastner last month.
Pastner's lawyer, Scott Tompsett, issued a statement shortly after the filing, denying the sexual assault and calling Pendley's claim "malicious".
Pendley claims that Pastner threatened her not to say anything because he was the Memphis basketball coach and because he and Bell had been friends for more than 20 years while Pendley had been dating him for less than a year up to that point.
As detailed in our Complaint (a copy of which will be redistributed to media outlets), Mr. Bell and Ms. Pendley began alleging assault only after their two-month long scheme to blackmail Josh by claiming he knowingly participated in NCAA violations failed. That evening in the team hotel, she said, Pastner came to the couple's room to discuss a feature article a Memphis reporter was writing about the coach's friendship with Bell.
The new allegations were the latest development in a saga that began last fall, when Tech suspended guards Josh Okogie and Tadric Jackson for accepting impermissible benefits.
In November 2017, Bell told CBS Sports he provided the benefits, including flights to Arizona for the two players.
According to a USA Today report, the two grew close in 2013 after Pastner helped Bell get through a bout with cancer. Bell and Pendley spent several weeks with Pastner's teams in Memphis and Atlanta in 2016.
According to the lawsuit, Bell and Pendley "began a malicious campaign to defame Pastner, and to extort and blackmail Pastner" by threatening to release accusations the lawsuit contends are "false and patently untrue". The lawsuit alleges that Pastner told her not to say anything or he would make her life "a living hell".
"There was no sexual assault", the statement said.
Bell, thinking the meeting was over, allegedly went into the bathroom to shower, leaving Pastner alone in the room with Pendley, who was sitting at the edge of the bed.
"Pastner was in his final season as Memphis" coach at the time.
Over the next month, court records allege, Pastner sexually harassed Pendley, grabbing her against her will and whispering obscenities to her. She told Bell about the assault in October, according to the suit. She said she resisted, but Bell could not hear her crying from the bathroom.