A former ESPN executive has filed a lawsuit denying he fondled himself under an iPad on an airplane while sitting next to ESPN sports reporter Erin Andrews, the New York Daily News reports.
The suit was filed by former ESPN Vice President Keith Clinkscales, the article says.
In an unusual move, the lawsuit was filed "hours before the website Deadspin actually reported the allegation," the article notes.
According to the article, "Judd Burstein, a lawyer for [the] former ESPN vice president, said he filed the defamation suit [in Manhattan] against ESPN employee Joan Lynch, ensuring that the allegations would become public, because the fondling allegation is ‘ludicrous’ and, he said, because Deadspin is not a credible news source."
The article containing the allegation on the Deadspin site can be found here.
Deadspin is "a sports website owned by Gawker Media and was launched in September 2005. As of February 2010, the site had attracted over 462 million unique visitors and about 573 million page views," according to Wikipedia.
Says the NY Daily News piece, "Deadspin has a long history of reporting on boorish behavior by ESPN executives and on-air personalities, and Burstein said that was a factor in his decision to file the suit. ‘That was factored into the equation, the lack of respect in the sports world for Deadspin,’ he said. ‘If the allegation had come from a credible New York newspaper, I would have taken a different tact.’ "
"We have no comment on the lawsuit,” ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz told the Daily News, “With respect to these reports, we want to state very clearly that in accordance with ESPN policies, if a claim is brought to our attention, it is taken very seriously and responded to appropriately."
Interestingly, the Deadspin article never identifies Lynch as the person making the allegations against Clinkscales. In the article, the person making the allegations is not identified.