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Brooke Hundley, a former ESPN production assistant, is suing ESPN for defamation after the sports network fired her following her sexual harassment lawsuit against broadcaster Steve Phillips. She alleges that as a result of ESPN's actions, she lost her job, lost future job opportunities, has faced public harassment, embarrassment and damage to her reputation. She is seeking at least $15,000 in damages.
Phillips admitted to the affair with Hundley, but had denied Hundley's accusations. Hundley confronted Phillips' wife with the news of the affair. She says the confrontation was only made so Phillips would stop his sexual advances. Both Hundley and Phillips were fired by ESPN.
"[Brooke Hundley] complained to ESPN about Mr. Phillips' conduct and she claims that her termination was in retaliation for that," said Hundley's attorney, Richard Hayber.
The lawsuit, filed in Stamford Superior Court, alleges that ESPN committed defamation by firing her and claiming that she did not cooperate with the sports network's internal investigation.
Not so fast, says ESPN. "Hundley's claims are without merit and we will vigorously defend against them ... Her current charges do not accurately portray ESPN's handling of the matter." said ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz, who believes that Hundley falsely claimed sexual harassment.
Hundley previously filed a separate lawsuit against Phillips, alleging he sexually harassed her, made false statements to police and claimed she was a danger to him and his family. Hundley and Phillips had an affair while both worked at ESPN, though Phillips claims he had attempted to put and end to their relationship.
A spokesman for Phillips stated that he is focused on getting his life and career back on track.