WWE broadcast team member Jonathan Coachman is accused of sending inappropriate texts and photos of himself to a former female co-worker. Adrienne Lawrence filed a lawsuit against ESPN that referenced Coachman’s alleged behavior.
“On or around January 18, 2016, SportsCenter anchor Jonathan Coachman (“Coachman”) emailed Ms. Lawrence offering to provide her with mentorship and providing his cellphone number,” reads the lawsuit. “When he contacted her via text, he quickly turned a professional conversation into a personal matter, asking her about her musical interests. He was employing the ESPN predators’ playbook… Colleagues then cautioned Ms. Lawrence that Coachman was notorious for sexually harassing female employees. After learning that, Ms. Lawrence made an effort to communicate to Coachman that she had a boyfriend, after which she did not hear from him again and he made no offers of mentorship.
“Coachman’s reputation for making unwelcome sexual advances toward women and engaging in other sexually harassing behavior was not a secret. Cary Chow had warned Ms. [Sara] Lawrence about him when he gave the short list of men at ESPN who were notorious for sexual harassment. Coachman had sent Walsh inappropriate photos of himself and text messages, falsely telling her colleagues that they were romantically involved and that she “wanted” him – another common practice of men at ESPN… At least one young production assistant who joined ESPN just out of college had complained to Ms. Lawrence about Coachman making her feel uncomfortable by complimenting her physical appearance and making passes at her.”
The supra adds: “As explained below, when Ms. Lawrence complained to Jack Obringer, Senior Coordinating Producer, Studio Production of ESPN, Inc. that she was being sexually harassed (by another individual), Obringer guessed that the harasser was ‘Coachman’ and indicated that his inappropriate behavior toward women was well-known to management. Nevertheless, Coachman continued to appear in ESPN commercials and on SportsCenter without discipline or accountability until he was quietly dismissed on or around April 26, 2017 via layoff.”
Powell’s POV: Neither Coachman nor WWE have commented on the matter as of this update. I did reach out to WWE PR shortly before publishing this story, but have not heard back yet. Obviously, we will post any public responses from Coachman or the company should they choose to comment on the matter.
Update: WWE issued the following statement to Prowrestling.net late Monday evening: “We take these matters very seriously and are investigating.”
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