Sports

Former ESPN personality files harassment lawsuit against network

Former ESPN personality Adrienne Lawrence said in a lawsuit that sportscaster Chris Berman left a colleague “a racially disparaging voicemail.”
Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images/File
Former ESPN personality Adrienne Lawrence said in a lawsuit that sportscaster Chris Berman left a colleague “a racially disparaging voicemail.”

A former ESPN on-air personality highlighted in a 2017 Boston Globe article about her experiences at the sports network filed a lawsuit Monday in federal court in Connecticut.

Adrienne Lawrence, who previously filed a complaint with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, said a male anchor made “unwanted advances” against her. The lawsuit says management “colluded with” the human resources department against Lawrence after she complained.

Lawrence’s lawsuit also said ESPN used “bots and fake social media accounts” to defame her, in addition to a number of other claims.

Advertisement

ESPN and four executives at the network are listed as defendants in the court filing. The 93-page complaint can be viewed in full at the end of this article.

Get Breaking Sports Alerts in your inbox:
Be the first to know the latest sports news as it happens.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

In a statement, ESPN said the accusations “are entirely without merit.”

Lawrence’s grievances came to light in a Globe piece published in December. At that time, she accused anchor John Buccigross of sending a number of unwelcome text messages, including one that featured a shirtless photo. At that time, ESPN said it had investigated Lawrence’s claims and found they were “without merit.”

Among other accusations listed in the complaint:

Lawrence said that ESPN fixture Chris Berman left “a threatening and racially disparaging voicemail” for colleague Jemele Hill. In a statement issued over Twitter, Hill said she had a “personal conflict” with Berman, but denied that Berman used racist language.

Advertisement

Lawrence said that ESPN anchor Chris Cotter tried to kiss her after a March 2016 dinner.

Read: Complaint filed against ESPN