GENEVA (AP) — The wife of fired Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine claimed Wednesday that ESPN maliciously trampled her reputation by broadcasting salacious stories about her and about claims that her husband molested ball boys.
Laurie Fine held a news conference Wednesday and threatened to file a libel lawsuit in federal court against the cable network and two employees. ESPN in November broke the story of two former Syracuse ball boys, Robert Davis and Michael Lang, who claimed they were molested by Bernie Fine decades ago.
“I’m here today as a wife and a mother who has had to endure the trauma of being smeared in the public as a monster,” she said, reading quickly from a statement. “My life has been destroyed.”
Laurie Fine’s lawyer, Lawrence Fisher of Pittsburgh, repeatedly declined to answer specific questions and said he was discussing the complaint with Bristol, Conn.-based ESPN. He has not yet filed a lawsuit.
ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said the complaint is without merit and the network stands by its reporting.