Yesterday, The Boston Globe reported that Adrienne Lawrence, who worked at ESPN in 2015, described how ESPN anchor John Buccigross sent her several inappropriate texts and unwanted shirtless photos. Lawrence went on to claim that ESPN retaliated against her when she complained to higher ups about Buccigross’s behavior.
Hours after the Globe’s report, ESPN went on to publish a series of text messages between Lawrence and Buccigross to disprove her sexual harassment claims.
“We conducted a thorough investigation and found these claims to be entirely without merit. 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.” -Katina Arnold, ESPN Spokeswoman
Additionally, if you consider the attached portions of text messages exchanged between Ms. Lawrence (in blue) and Mr. Buccigross, it’s clear that they had a consensual, personal friendship that spanned months.
The context of conversation before and after the shirtless photo was sent is at the bottom of the exchange below:
It will be worth monitoring the reaction to ESPN’s decision to release these text messages.