Ex-ESPN employee Adrienne Lawrence filed a discrimination lawsuit against the company this past weekend, and her suit included the claim that Chris Berman left SportsCenter host Jemele Hill a “threatening and racially disparaging voicemail.” Hill released a statement this evening, confirming that she had a “personal conflict” with Berman, but denying that he ever left her any sort of racist voicemail. Furthermore, she commended ESPN’s handling of the disagreement.
Lawrence’s lawsuit included the anecdote as an example of a work environment that was hostile towards women. Hill also said she was not prompted to pen the statement by ESPN.
Update (7:34 p.m. ET): ESPN has released the following statement:
“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.”