Pistons fire assistant GM Rob Murphy after sexual assault allegations from former executive assistant
Warning: This story contains descriptions of alleged sexual assault.
The Detroit Pistons fired assistant general manager Rob Murphy on Thursday after investigating allegations of inappropriate conduct toward a former employee, according to The Detroit News' Mike Curtis.
Murphy was placed on leave in October amid an external investigation. In a statement, the Pistons said the national law firm they hired found enough facts to justify his termination.
From The Detroit News:
“Rob Murphy no longer works for the Detroit Pistons or Motor City Cruise, in any capacity," the Pistons said in a statement provided to The Detroit News. "Mr. Murphy was recently terminated for violation of company policy and the terms of his employment agreement. The facts that gave rise to his termination surfaced during a review, assisted by a national law firm, of allegations made by a former employee. Mr. Murphy was placed on leave immediately after the allegations were received and did not return to the workplace prior to his termination. Because this is a personnel matter, no further details will be forthcoming at this time.”
The day the firing was announced, an attorney representing Murphy's former executive assistant, DeJanai Raska, identified her as the accuser and said she intends to file a lawsuit against Murphy and the Pistons for abuse and harassment.
Additionally, the lawyer claimed the Pistons completed their Murphy investigation in December but allowed him to stay on paid leave until they were informed of the incoming lawsuit.
Murphy joined the Pistons organization in 2021, when he was hired as president and general manager of the G League Motor City Cruise. The former Eastern Michigan head coach was promoted twice over the next 15 months.
Murphy's accuser says sexual assault pushed her to 'breaking point'
In an interview with the Detroit Free Press published Thursday, Raska recalled being eager to get a job in basketball, so much so that she left two jobs for a position that paid $30K per year, which she called "a huge pay cut."
Instead of the duties described in the job posting, Raska, a single mother, said she was "turned into a personal assistant nanny" for Murphy and his teenage son, who described her as the family's driver to his friends.
Raska said Murphy started by verbally harassing her and "grooming" her with inappropriate conversations, then warning her about approaching human resources. She described Murphy as having "isolated and manipulated" her by saying the Pistons' human resources department didn't want her to get her job and he was the only one protecting her employment.
She claimed the only time she was brought into human resources was when Pistons chief people officer Nicolet Lewis told her she was wearing an inappropriate outfit, which Raska disputed.
Raska said Murphy sexually assaulted her twice, once when he arrived home after a scouting trip while she stayed the night at his house to watch his son:
"The next morning, he called both his son and I in his room to talk. We were just talking, 'How was school? What happened?' And then in the midst of the conversation, he excuses [his son] out of the room and he's like, 'Hey, I need to talk to DJ for a sec.'
"So we're in the room at this point, and at this point he's standing in front of me ... he then got in front of me and pushed me down on his bed and tried to engage in the beginning of some kind of sexual activity. So I'm literally trying to push my body up, because he's on top of me. I'm like 'Hey Rob, I don't want to do this,' and he then — this is disgusting to say, but I thought of anything and I'm like, 'You know I'm on my period,' and [he] was like 'DJ, it's just a little blood, we're adults, you need to get out of your head.' When he said that, even right now, it makes me want to regurgitate.
"Saying that, it gave me enough to push up and sit at the edge of the bed. As I'm sitting at the edge of the bed, he then gets up and he's pacing his room now and he's like, 'You just think too much, you know you just need to let stuff happen. This isn't a big deal, sex is sex.'"
Raska said she told two women about the alleged assault afterward.