Published: Fri, March 09, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Darrell Mcdonald

Former ESPN Host Sues Network for Sexual Harassment

Former ESPN Host Sues Network for Sexual Harassment

Lawrence is represented by lead attorney Brian Cohen of Lachtman Cohen in Greenwich, Conn.

Lawrence's lawsuit alleges male employees at the network openly watched porn on their computers and kept a "scoreboard" of women they were targeting for sex.

Lawrence says ESPN didn't address her complaints that ESPN anchor John Buccigross sexually harrassed her.

"It was a predatory dance and a predator's dream", the lawsuit states. Initially, Ms. Lawrence did not name Buccigross and said that a SportsCenter anchor had offered her mentorship and guidance and she provided him advice on business and real estate matters, but that the anchor had started sending her inappropriate text messages and pictures. "I am not part of this lawsuit because I have never done anything wrong", he vented, before noting "my reputation speaks for itself and anyone that has ever worked with me will back that up". However, he took advantage of his position by making sexual advances towards her. When Hill notified HR, Lawrence claims nothing was done. The suit also elaborates on Lawrence's previous claims about John Buccigross' misbehavior toward her and suggests the company commonly mistreats pregnant women.

When Lawrence complained up the chain, she says eventually "ESPN reinforced its longstanding practice of retaliating against women and did not renew Ms. Lawrence's contract or consider her for any employment opportunities whatsoever". Lawrence claimed that Coachman along with several other ESPN employees employed the "ESPN Predators Playbook" to turn seeming professional relationships into sexual ones.

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However, the company allegedly covered-up the abuse and insisted Buccigross was harmless, later releasing text messages that falsely implied Lawrence had stalked the producer.

Lawrence explained that she wrestled with her decision to include stories from other female ESPN employees in the lawsuit, but ultimately opted to do so on the belief that changing what she described as a toxic culture at the Worldwide Leader required widespread accountability. But most of you have been incredible and supportive.

"There is no question that the impact of Ms. Lawrence's claims extend far beyond this litigation", the complaint states.

Mark Heim is a sports reporter for The Alabama Media Group.

Buccigross and ESPN have not responded to the lawsuit. Lawrence, who is suing ESPN for issues including a hostile work environment and sexual discrimination, claimed in 2016 Hill "received a threatening and racially disparaging voicemail from [Chris] Berman on her ESPN phone line".

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