According to CNY Central and Syracuse.com, Laurie Fine will sue ESPN, Mark Schwarz, and Arthur Berko for libel, claiming they damaged her reputation during their coverage of the Bernie Fine allegations.
The lawsuit says ESPN, Schwarz and Berko "spitefully destroyed Laurie Fine's reputation in an attempt to capitalize financially in the wake of the Penn State sex abuse scandal."
The defendants published false and defamatory information about Laurie Fine, including that she created "a space in which children could be sexually molested in secret," and that she witnessed her husband molesting children but did nothing to stop him, the lawsuit said.
Laurie Fine and her attorneys say ESPN, Schwarz, and Becko ruined her reputation by "maliciously publishing false and defamatory factual accusations", including reporting that she allegedly allowed her husband to sexually abuse children, had sex with Bernie Fine accuser Bobby Davis, and had sex with members of the Syracuse Orange men's basketball team.
The lawsuit also alleges Schwarz obsessed over the story from 2002 through 2011, and that Schwarz was in regular contact with Bobby Davis even after Davis had let the story go. The lawsuit suggests Davis only came out with this now because Schwarz pressured him into it.
The lawsuit further alleges that the defendents "doctored and otherwise highly edited" the audio tape of Laurie Fine and Bobby Davis' conversation. The lawsuit claims, "Defendants distorted the tapes sound quality and voices, and otherwise spliced and/or deleted portions of the recording that were inconsistent with and totally contradicted the storyline of their coverage."
The libel statements in which Laurie is suing ESPN for are as follows:
1. Laurie Fine knew her husband was sexually molesting Davis.
2. Laurie Fine had a Sexual Relationship with Davis.
3. Laurie Fine witnessed her husband molest Davis in her home, but did nothing to stop it.
4. Laurie Fine created a space in her home where children could be sexually molested in secret.
5. Laurie Fine slept with Syracuse basketball players.
6. Laurie Fine betrayed Davis trust.
The lawsuit claims the above statements are all false. The lawsuit further claims that Mike Lang asked Bernie Fine for his children to be ballboys in 2009 or 2010.
ESPN's VP of Communication has responded with "we stand by our reporting."
We will have a full recap of the press conference as soon as it is concluded.
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