UPDATED 3/5/2018 8:00 p.m. ET: Hill took to her Twitter to state that Lawrence's allegations were not true. In her statement she said she had a personal conflict with Berman that was handled with "the utmost professionalism." She also said that the characterization of the conflict is "dangerously inaccurate" and that there were no "racially disparaging remarks." She also appeared irritated that Lawrence would relay a private conversation she had with Hill for personal gain:
ESPN also denied Lawrence's accusations in a statement you can read below:
“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.”
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This past weekend, ex-ESPN legal analyst Adrienne Lawrence filed a lawsuit against her former employer. According to TMZ, that suit accuses the Worldwide Leader of Sports of sexual discrimination, fostering a hostile work environment, and more.
As TMZ writes:
Lawrence specifically says ESPN host John Buccigross made her life a living hell after she rejected his "unwelcome advances."
In her suit, Lawrence describes ESPN as a company rife with misogyny -- and points to several alleged incidents to make her point.
In one of those examples intended to make her point, Lawrence alleges that in early 2016 "ESPN's 'The Undefeated' personality Jemele Hill received a threatening and racially disparaging voicemail from [Chris] Berman on her ESPN phone line." Lawrence goes on to say that Hill reported the message to company executive Marcia Keegan, whose duties included overseeing Hill's former show His & Hers. She adds that ultimately no action was taken. Lawrence also claims that Berman had a number of incidents involving mistreatment of women, but he still "remains a celebrated and welcome ESPN employee."
The lawsuit does not contain info explaining how Lawrence became aware of this call or the specific contents of the message.
Prior to these new charges, Lawrence's grievances first made headlines last December after details of a complaint she filed with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities—which contained flirtatious/shirtless messages sent to her from anchor John Buccigross—was published. Echoing those accusations, Lawrence states in this newest suit that she did not get offered a full-time job after her fellowship ran its course as payback for speaking out against Buccigross. ESPN previously denied that claim.