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Ex-ESPN Employee Says Jemele Hill is Lying About Not Having ‘Racially Disparaging’ Voicemail From Chris Berman: ‘I Know You Have It’
This week, former ESPN employee Adrienne Lawrence filed a lawsuit against her former employer, stemming from her original claims that she made about harassment from SportsCenter anchor John Buccigross.
Her lawsuit also included a story about how her former friend Jemele Hill told her that Chris Berman left her a racially charged voicemail and ESPN responded by doing absolutely nothing about it.
Jemele Hill wasn’t having it and quickly shot down her claims and accused Lawrence of trying to use her for personal gain.
Re: Chris Berman pic.twitter.com/p7NqjHiV7r
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) March 6, 2018
Well, Lawrence wasn’t going to take being called a liar sitting down, so she immediately spoke out and basically called Jemele a liar herself.
“This isn’t about me. It’s for the women there who I left behind that would come to me and ask me for my help,” Lawrence told ThinkProgress in a phone interview on Monday night. “There are women that are scared, there are women trying to get into this business, and they’re siloed in silence.”
“I’ll be damned if anyone says this is for my personal gain,” Lawrence said. “Play the voicemail then, the one that you kept. Play it, I know you have it. I’ve never heard it. I went off of her description of it.”
“It wasn’t easy sharing what others had confided in me, but someone has to speak up if anything is to change,” Lawrence said. “These are things people came to me and told me about, and they weren’t right. If you don’t bring things to light they won’t get better.”
“I can’t leave those girls behind. I couldn’t just take a paycheck and be silenced, and it’s disappointing that others can,” Lawrence said. “It’s really disappointing to see all of these women who have the power to say something, and yet they will do anything to protect the shield. The shield abused them when they were on the way up, and it will abuse them on their way down.”
ESPN responded and has since denied all allegations from Lawrence:
“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.”