ESPN is standing by its reporting after Laurie Fine -- the wife of ex-Syracuse coach Bernie Fine, who has been accused of sexual abuse -- announced her libel lawsuit against the media company and two employees.
In response to Fine's press conference, ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz told The Associated Press that the complaint is without merit. ESPN has released the PDF of Fine's announced lawsuit as well as the full-length audio of a conversation reportedly between Mrs. Fine and one of her husband's accusers. In court documents made available at ESPN.com, this recording is described as "admittedly doctored, substantially inaudible and entirely speculative."
Click HERE to read the full lawsuit.
Back in November, ESPN's "Outside The Lines" released segments of a tape-recorded telephone conversation from 2002 between Laurie and alleged victim Bobby Davis. During the recording, which Davis had reportedly recorded without her knowledge, Laurie seemed to imply her knowledge of the alleged sexual abuse of Davis by her husband.
One day after Laurie announced her into to sue ESPN and questioned the integrity of the recording, ESPN.com posted the full, 46-minute conversation.
In November, days after ESPN first released parts of the tape, in which Laurie could be heard stating her husband is in denial and doesn't think he did anything wrong, her nephew told CNN that Laurie is preparing to challenge the integrity of the tape.
Although ESPN's use of the tape -- after choosing not to use it from 2003 through November 2011 -- is a key part of the lawsuit, Laurie also attacks other claims made about her. She also denies ever having "adulterous sex" with Davis while he was in high school, another claim Davis made during interviews aired by ESPN.
ESPN wasn't the only party to respond to Laurie's announcement.Mike Lang, Davis' stepbrother who corroborated his story and also accused Bernie of abuse, defended himself to the Syracuse Post-Standard after Laurie accused him of lying about being molested in her libel suit.