Soon after being hit with sexual harassment claims from a former ESPN colleague, WWE’s Jonathan Coachman took the stand to defend himself.
On Monday, Adrienne Lawrence took a story to the New York Post that alleged quite the misogynistic culture art WWE. Lawrence claimed that Coachman along with several other ESPN employees employed the “ESPN Predators Playbook” to turn seeming professional relationships into sexual ones.
WWE released an official statement on Tuesday morning and now Coachman has officially defended himself in a series of spirited tweets.
According to Lawrence, Coachman stopped his pursuit “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,” the suit states.
Here's a snippet of from Lawrence's official legal document:
1. Men Preyed on Ms. Lawrence Under the Guise of Being Collegial or Providing Mentorship
125. 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. 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. See supraat ¶ 84. 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.
126. 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. 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.
Lawrence filed a complaint last summer, one that WWE vehemently denied.
“We conducted a thorough investigation of the claims Adrienne Lawrence surfaced to ESPN and they are entirely without merit,” ESPN said in a statement. “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.”
We will keep you updated as this story develops.