ESPN’s John Buccigross, Matthew Berry Accused Of Sexual Harassment
Just two days after ESPN suspended Donovan McNabb and Eric Davis amid sexual assault allegations, the network is now having to deal with new allegations made against their on-air talent.
On Thursday, the Boston Globe published an explosive report on sexual harassment at ESPN, including accusations against anchor John Buccigross and fantasy sports writer Matthew Berry.
According to the Globe Adrienne Lawrence, who joined ESPN in 2015 alleges that Buccigross sent her several unwanted shirtless photos and that ESPN retaliated against her when she complained to higher ups about Buccigross’s behavior.
Via Boston Globe
Lawrence accused John Buccigross, a longtime SportsCenter anchor who she viewed as a mentor, of sending unsolicited shirtless photographs of himself and calling her “dollface,” “#dreamgirl,” and “#longlegs” in messages from 2016 reviewed by the Globe. Lawrence said she tried to remain cordial in the e-mails but at one point responded: “You need to wear clothes, sir.”
When rumors spread that the two were in a relationship, Lawrence repeatedly complained to company officials and was advised by a supervisor to drop the matter, according to the complaint.
Lawrence said ESPN retaliated against her by reducing her on-air shifts and ultimately denying her a permanent position. The other fellow, a male, received a job offer. The Globe interviewed three former employees who Lawrence had confided in at the time about her treatment and confirmed her account.
“I considered Adrienne to be a friend,” Buccigross said in a statement to the Globe. “I’m sorry if anything I did or said offended Adrienne. It certainly wasn’t my intent.”
The allegation against Berry comes from actress/ model Jenn Sterger, who previously described sexual harassment at ESPN in a series of tweets back in October.
Sterger claims Berry led her to a strip club without giving her a heads up and that he later made inappropriate sexual comments towards her.
Today, Berry said visiting the strip club “was not a smart decision and I regret going.” He described a photo from that work trip in which he is pointing at Sterger’s breasts as “personally embarrassing and I did not mean any offense.”
Sterger said she had another uncomfortable encounter with Berry two years later, claiming that Berry made sexual comments when she visited ESPN to talk about a potential job opportunity — an accusation that Berry denies. When asked whether he had ever been suspended or disciplined for inappropriate behavior, Berry said, “I was talked to once about an alleged issue in 2007, which was ultimately resolved.”
ESPN released a statment saying that it conducted a “thorough investigation” and found Lawrence’s claims to be “entirely without merit.” While these are the only two allegations to come forward for now the Boston Globe story implies that ESPN had a culture of being insensitive employees for years and it wouldn’t be surprising if more allegations could come to light in the future.