Monday, March 5, 2018

Jonathan Coachman Accused Of Sexual Harassment In Lawsuit Filed By Former ESPN Co-Worker

Jonathan Coachman Accused Of Sexual Harassment
WWE announcer Jonathan Coachman is being accused of sexual harassment by former ESPN anchor and legal analyst Adrienne Lawrence.

According to a report today by the New York Post, Lawrence filed a sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit against ESPN on Sunday for incidents dating back to 2015. Coachman, who worked as an anchor at ESPN from 2008 to 2017, is among those mentioned in the suit.

The suit alleges that Coachman employed the "ESPN predators' playbook," in which Lawrence reached out to her on the pretense of mentorship but tried turning the relationship personal. Lawrence says she was advised by colleagues that Coachman has sexually harassed female employees at ESPN.

"After learning that, Ms. Lawrence made an effort to communicate to Coachman that she had a boyfriend, after which she did not hear from him again," the suit states.

Here is what suit alleges against Coachman:
1. Men Preyed on Ms. Lawrence Under the Guise of Being Collegial or Providing Mentorship

125. On or around January 18, 2016, SportsCenter anchor Jonathan Coachman ("Coachman") emailed Ms. Lawrence offering to provide her with mentorship and providing his cellphone number. When he contacted her via text, he quickly turned a professional conversation into a personal matter, asking her about her musical interests. He was employing the ESPN predators' playbook. See supra at ¶ 84. Colleagues then cautioned Ms. Lawrence that Coachman was notorious for sexually harassing female employees. After learning that, Ms. Lawrence made an effort to communicate to Coachman that she had a boyfriend, after which she did not hear from him again and he made no offers of mentorship.

126. Coachman's reputation for making unwelcome sexual advances toward women and engaging in other sexually harassing behavior was not a secret. Cary Chow had warned Ms. Lawrence about him when he gave the short list of men at ESPN who were notorious for sexual harassment. Coachman had sent Walsh inappropriate photos of himself and text messages, falsely telling her colleagues that they were romantically involved and that she "wanted" him – another common practice of men at ESPN.
The suit also states that Lawrence complained to Jack Obringer, Senior Coordinating Producer, Studio Production of ESPN, that she was being sexually harassed and he guessed that the harasser was Coachman. Obringer indicated that Coachman's inappropriate behavior toward women was well-known to management. Nevertheless, Coachman continued to appear in ESPN commercials and on SportsCenter without discipline or accountability until he was quietly dismissed on or around April 26, 2017, via layoff.


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