A lawsuit has reportedly emerged by former ESPN legal analyst Adrienne Lawrence stating that former ESPN anchor Chris Berman left a “threatening and racially disparaging voicemail” to current ESPN anchor/reporter Jemele Hill in 2016, per TMZ Sports. It was also noted that Berman was not disciplined and his racist remarks were swept under the rug.
The racist voicemail was supposedly received on Hill’s ESPN telephone line. The lawsuit also states that ESPN executive Marcia Keegan was notified immediately but took no action against Berman.
Lawrence said that she is suing ESPN for sexual discrimination and being in a hostile work environment. Lawrence went on to say that Berman has always mistreated women at ESPN but the punishment was never inflicted on him due to him being a star at the company.
Lawrence said that anchor John Buccigross also made her life hell after rejecting his “unwelcome advances.” She also spoke on how ESPN was very misogynistic during her tenure at the company.
Here are the statements from ESPN and Jemele Hill.
“We conducted a thorough investigation of the claims Adrienne Lawrence surfaced to ESPN and they are entirely without merit. Ms. Lawrence was hired into a two-year talent development program and was told that her contract would not be renewed at the conclusion of the training program. At that same time, ESPN also told 100 other talent with substantially more experience, that their contracts would not be renewed. The company will vigorously defend its position and we are confident we will prevail in court.”
Jemele Hill Statement
“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.”
Here are texts message exchanges…