Claiming the company is "rife with misogyny," former ESPN host and legal analyst Adrienne Lawrence sued the network Monday, alleging that she was fired after telling the HR department she was being sexually harassed by a SportsCenter anchor.
Lawrence's lawsuit states that when she joined the network as a fellow in 2015, John Buccigross offered to mentor her, but soon he started sending inappropriate text messages, and when she turned him down, he started a rumor that she was "sleeping her way to the top." When she went to HR to complain, the suit says, she was told to "give him a chance." Lawrence also claims men watch pornography in the office, make sexually explicit comments, and keep scorecards for their female colleagues, NBC News reports.
ESPN said in a statement the network conducted an investigation and found her accusations are "entirely without merit." Lawrence was hired for two years as part of a talent development program, the network added, and was told her contract would not be renewed. In December, Buccigross told The Boston Globe he did send pictures to her, and considered Lawrence "to be a friend. I'm sorry if anything I did or said offended Adrienne. It certainly wasn't my intent."