Gattone and Gilpin cited the Tech investigation in their motion to withdraw from a pair of lawsuits: a defamation case that Pastner filed against Bell and Pendley in January and the couple's countersuit accusing the coach of sexual assault.
Bell and Pendley claimed Pastner inappropriately touched Pendley as many as 17 times. Pastner denied the accusations. But the couple said the alleged abuse began in 2016 when Pastner tried to force Pendley to perform oral sex in a Houston hotel room. They said he masturbated and ejaculated on her T-shirt before leaving the room.
In interviews with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution this winter, Bell repeatedly said Pendley had preserved the T-shirt in a zip-lock bag hidden in a closet of their home in Tucson. He later told his lawyers he had placed the shirt in a safe-deposit box.
Bell delayed turning over the shirt for examination while he spent several weeks in jail on an old arrest warrant from Cobb County, where he once lived. Bell was released from jail in April after a judge ordered him to pay restitution to the victim of a 1997 theft.
In recent weeks, Gattone and Gilpin said, their clients would not discuss the shirt. The lawyers said they concluded they had been “misled as to the nature of the evidentiary value of the T-shirt,” leading them to make unfounded claims in the lawsuit against Pastner. Gattone and Gilpin said they “cannot ethically remain part of this litigation.”