Attorney for ex-AAC employee wants to depose Mark Cuban in discrimination case

An employee who works at the American Airlines Center testified in court Friday about finding a hangman's noose in the building.

He told the court that Mavericks owner Mark Cuban saw the noose and threw it away, but did nothing to find out who did it, or provide sensitivity training.

The employee's testimony about the noose was part of a hearing making the case for deposing Mark Cuban about an “Animal House” style atmosphere at American Airlines Center.

“I walked into the IT closet. Hanging, was a noose,” said Tony Cooper, Center Operating Company employee.

After finding the hangman's noose in an IT closet across from Mark Cuban's bunker suite at American Airlines Center back in 2011, Cooper said he went to Cuban directly.

“He looked at it, rolled his eyes, walked over, took it down, walked out the door, threw it in the trash, went to his seat,” Cooper testified.

[ATTORNEY: Did he say, ‘This is wrong. I can't believe someone's done this?’”]

“Nothing,” Cooper replied.

Cooper also went to human resources, but says the Mavericks still did not take action against any employees, or provide sensitivity training.

Attorney Rogge Dunn argued that is one example of Cuban showing disregard for concerns about racial discrimination.

“I've done a lot of healing, but it's still emotional,” former AAC employee Michelle Newsome said.

Newsome claims she was fired in March 2017 based on her sex and race, and in retaliation for complaints about the culture at the AAC.

MORE: Ex-AAC employee claims race, age, gender discrimination led to firing

“I was a top sales person, number one new revenue producer,” Newsome added.

Also on the stand, was one of the men at the center of the Mavericks front office sex harassment scandal: Chris Hyde.

“Mr. Cuban personally gave [Hyde] institutional leads, on a silver platter, and he never gave one of them to Ms. Michelle Newsome,” Dunn argued.

Cuban's attorneys had no response to the testimony or our questions about the allegations.            

But the judge did rule that before Newsome's attorney can depose Cuban, he would need to establish his case through lower level employees first.

While there has been an overhaul of leadership at the Mavericks front office, Newsome contends the same needs to happen at the American Airlines Center.

“I could not sleep at night, my soul would not. I knew if I did not speak up and speak out, not only for myself, but other women,” Newsome said.

Newsome is now considering whether or not to file a lawsuit against American Airlines Center.

She currently has a complaint pending with the EEOC.