What’s the story?
As you may have heard, WWE announcer Johnathan Coachman has been named as one of many current and former ESPN employees accused in the suit of varying degrees of harassment.
Former ESPN anchor and legal analyst Adrienne Lawrence has made the claim.
In case you didn’t know...
Coachman left WWE in 2008 after being offered a position by ESPN. He had even requested an early release as he couldn't wait to join up.
He left ESPN just last October and ironically, couldn't wait to return to WWE. Coachman returned on the RAW 25 Anniversary show and to the announcers' table the following week, replacing Booker T.
Adrienne Lawrence is claiming that Coachman employed the "ESPN predators' playbook", in which he offered to mentor her after she had reached out to him.
She said that things took a personal turn and after she mentioned she had a boyfriend, he broke contact.
She also claims that Coachman sexually harassed other female employees at ESPN, including former SportsCenter anchor Sara Walsh. Mrs. Walsh is yet to comment on the matter.
The heart of the matter
Coachman has now released a statement on the accusations, proclaiming his innocence. Coach said:
"I will address this only once because I am seething today. In 21 years of being a PROFESSIONAL I have never been more offended in my life. I, in my 9 years, I can count on one hand the amount of times I interacted with anyone other than a co-anchor. To allow someone to spread vicious lies and flat out fabrications is not ok and it’s time someone stood up for themselves. @jemelehill addressed her lie last night. I am not a part of this lawsuit because I have never done anything wrong. My reputation speaks for itself and anyone that has ever worked with me will back that up. I am also offended that someone can dangerously throw peoples names into something for the clear attempt at getting headlines. This the only time I will address this because I am not a part of this lawsuit. My heart goes out to anyone falsely accused of anything. Trust me it doesn’t feel good. But most of you have been incredible and supportive. Onward and upward."
WWE had also previously commented on the matter, saying:
"We take these matters very seriously and are investigating."
It is highly possible that WWE may choose to suspend Coach while their investigation is underway, just as they did with Enzo Amore and Rich Swann during their controversies before they were released.
A difficult thing to comment on, especially when it concerns someone you respect and admire. All I can say is I really hope these allegations are false.Published 06 Mar 2018, 22:46 IST