Sypher trial testimony continues: A Night at Porcini


by Adam Walser

Posted on July 27, 2010 at 6:55 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 27 at 7:33 PM

Tuesday afternoon, testimony revolved around a night at Porcini Restaurant.

Several witnesses talked about seeing Rick Pitino and Karen Sypher that night.

Most of their impressions seemed to be that they were getting along quite well all the way up until the restaurant closed after midnight.

Witnesses took the stand Tuesday afternoon to testify about the night of July 31, 2003.

A now infamous night in which Karen Sypher and Rick Pitino both admit they had sex in a booth at Porcini Restaurant.

She says it was rape. He testified it was consensual.

Three witnesses testified about seeing Sypher and Pitino that night.

The first was a retired Courier-Journal Vice President who said Sypher saw him eating alone and struck up a conversation with him.

While they talked, he testified that she asked him to help her get a job at the newspaper.

The second witness was Margaret Cameron, who said she and her friends were talking to Pitino and his group of friends when Karen Sypher walked in.

She described Sypher as rude and flashy and testified:

"This woman walked right in and went up to Rick Pitino and asked, "Will you talk to my son? Will you talk to my son? Holding up her cell phone,” Cameron testified.

"She wasn't going to give up. She wasn't going to stop," said Cameron.

The bartender at Porcini Melissa Brent also testified. She said Sypher was wearing a white top and a very short white skirt.

She said Sypher left the restaurant, and then returned, immediately approaching Pitino.

Brent testified about Sypher.

"She was flirting, giggling, trying to edge herself into the scene to talk to Mr. Pitino,” Brent said.

She also said, "My impression was that they were enjoying each other's company. She was flirting with him and they were getting along really well."

Brent testified that when she left that night, two other employees, Sypher, Pitino and Pitino’s assistant Vincent Tatum were the only people in the restaurant.

We are told that Rick Pitino could take the stand as early as Wednesday.