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By Mike Johnson on 2018-03-06 09:39:00

A lawsuit filed yesterday in the United States District Court of Connecticut by former ESPN employee Adrienne Lawrence against the cable broadcast network alleged that Lawrence had been the victim of sexual discrimination and harassment while working for ESPN, naming Jonathan Coachman as one of the alleged culprits.

An excerpt from the lawsuit claims Coachman, "...e-mailed 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. 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."

The lawsuit also alleged, "Coachman’s reputation for making unwelcome sexual advances to ward 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.  At least one young production assistant who joined ESPN just out of college had complained to Ms. Lawrence about Coachman making her feel uncomfortable by complimenting her physical appearance and making passes at her."

In a public statement, ESPN stated they had already investigated allegations brought forth by Lawrence internally and determined they were without merit.  They stated that they intend to defend themselves in court.

Coachman left ESPN in late 2016 as part of cutbacks at the network.  He returned to WWE several weeks ago as part of the Raw announcing team and has been very good in the role.  He is not a defendant in the lawsuit against ESPN.

This morning, Coachman took to Twitter to respond to 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."

Coachman's reference to Jemele Hill was in response to another allegation made in the Lawrence lawsuit, claiming that former ESPN personality Chris Berman left Hiill a racially insensitive  voicemail.  Hill took to her own Twitter account denying that last night. 

WWE, in responding to a query about the Coachman allegations, commented, "We take these matters very seriously and are investigating.”


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