UPDATE: Lawsuit Claims ESPN Host Chris Berman Left Racist and Threatening Voice Mail for Jemele Hill

Screenshot Berman

A lawsuit charging ESPN with sexual discrimination, alleges that ESPN legend Chris Berman once left a threatening and racially disparaging voice mail for former SportsCenter host Jemele Hill.

The lawsuit was filed by former ESPN legal analyst Adrienne Lawrence, who alleges that the sports cable network sexually discriminated against her and has a hostile work environment, according to TMZ Sports.

“ESPN is, and always has been, a company rife with misogyny,” the 85-page filing reads.

Lawrence specifically cited ESPN host John Buccigross who she claims made unwanted sexual advances toward her.

“After reaching out to her with the promise of mentorship, Buccigross exploited his position of authority over her by calling her ‘doll’ and coercing her to join him for dinner given his limited availability,” Lawrence said of Buccigross’ actions.

For his part, Buccigross has said that he thought he and Lawrence were “friends,” and added “I’m sorry if anything I did or said offended Adrienne. It certainly wasn’t my intent.”

But, along with the claims of her specific case, she also supplied examples of other incidents she says proves the contentions in her lawsuit. One of those incidents is the “threatening and racially disparaging voicemail” she says Berman left for Hill.

“In early 2016, ESPN’s ‘The Undefeated’ personality Jemele Hill received a threatening and racially disparaging voicemail from Berman on her ESPN phone line,” the paperwork insists.

Lawrence claims that Hill flagged the phone message to ESPN bosses, but no action was ever taken. Lawrence claims that the lack of action typifies the “sexist” atmosphere at the network.

UPDATE: Jemele Hill has released a statement regarding this report in which she acknowledges a “personal conflict” with Chris Berman, but denies that Berman ever made any racially disparaging remarks:

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.


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