Former ESPN host Adrienne Lawrence filed a sexual assault lawsuit against ESPN on Sunday in a Connecticut district court, reported the New York Daily News.
Following the rise of the #MeToo movement, Lawrence was one among many women affected by sexual assault in the workplace. She, too, decided to speak up and expose her experience at ESPN. In a recent tweet, she thanked people for their support.
— Adrienne Lawrence (@AdrienneLaw) December 15, 2017
Lawrence has gone beyond tweeting and filed an 85-page complaint, detailing volumes of sexual misconduct at ESPN dating back to the 1980s. Lawrence claims that she was sexually harassed by anchor John Buccigross, during her two years at the company. The lawsuit also calls out other ESPN hosts Jonathan Coachman and Bomani Jones.
“ESPN is, and always has been, a company rife with misogyny,” reads the opening line of the lawsuit.
She accused Chris Berman of leaving “racially disparaging” voicemails. Lawrence claims that ESPN is a toxic workplace environment for women.
Lawrence said that Buccigross was supposed to be her mentor after being accepted into the ESPN Fellowship program. However, he took advantage of his position by making sexual advances towards her.
Court Documents obtained by the Connecticut Law Tribune read:
"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. The suit states the anchor ‘tried to groom’ Lawrence into a romantic relationship by garnering sympathy by divulging his history as an alleged sexual abuse victim.”
Buccigross and ESPN have not responded to the lawsuit. In December, when Lawrence's claims became public, ESPN tried to clear Buccigross name. Buccigross responded: “I’m sorry if anything I did or said offended Adrienne. It certainly wasn’t my intent.”
On Twitter, Lawrence continues to share the complexities of sexual assault with her followers.
Many want to see sexual harassment in a vacuum. That's not realisitc. #ThisAmericanLife piece touches on its complexity from how your background impacts how you respond to how working with a harasser changes your outlook, energy, aspirations… https://t.co/8z2tnXMKNG
— Adrienne Lawrence (@AdrienneLaw) March 5, 2018