Jonathan Coachman took to Twitter to respond to being one of several current and former ESPN employees named in a sexual discrimination and harassment lawsuit filed against the company on Sunday by former ESPN anchor and legal analyst Adrienne Lawrence. Coachman denied the allegations, writing:
I will address this only once because I am seething today. In 21 years of being a PROFESSIONAL I have never been more offended in my life. I my 9 years I can count on one hand the amount of times I interacted with anyone other than a co-anchor. To allow someone to spread vicious Lies and flat out fabrications is not ok and it’s time someone stood up for themselves. @jemelehill addressed her lie last night. I am not a part of this lawsuit because I have never done anything wrong. My reputation speaks for itself and anyone that has ever worked with me Will back that up. I am also offended that someone can dangerously throw peoples names into something for the clear attempt at getting headlines. This the only time I will address this because I am not a part of this lawsuit. My heart goes out to anyone falsely accused of Anything. Trust me it doesn’t feel good. But most of you have been incredible and supportive. Onward and upward.
Lawrence filed the lawsuit against ESPN for incidents dating back to 2015. She is accusing ESPN of not addressing her complaints, specifically against longtime SportsCenter anchor John Buccigross. Coachman is one of many other current and former employees accused in the suit of varying degrees of harassment.
In the lawsuit, Lawrence claimed that Coachman employed the “ESPN predators’ playbook,” in which he offered to mentor her after she had reached out, but then tried turning the relationship personal. She alleged that colleagues told her that Coachman sexually harassed other female employees at ESPN, including former SportsCenter anchor Sara Walsh. She communicated to Coachman that she had a boyfriend, and claims to have not heard back from him after that.
In his statement, Coachman mentioned former SportsCenter anchor Jemele Hill. In the lawsuit, Lawrence had claimed that Hill “received a threatening and racially disparaging voicemail from [ESPN SportsCenter anchor Chris] Berman on her ESPN phone line.” Hill denied the claim on Twitter, and called the allegation “dangerously inaccurate.”
“A few years ago, I had a personal conflict with Chris Berman, but the way this conflict has been characterized is dangerously inaccurate. Chris never left any racially disparaging remarks on my voicemail and our conflict was handled swiftly and with the utmost professionalism.
“I felt as if my concerns were taken seriously by ESPN and addressed in a way that made me feel like a valued employee. Frankly, I’m more disappointed that someone I considered to be a friend at one point would misrepresent and relay a private conversation without my knowledge — in which I simply attempted to be a sounding board — for personal gain.”
WWE also responded to the claims against Coachman and sent us the following statement:
“We take these matters very seriously and are investigating.”
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