Laurie Fine will sue ESPN

Laurie Fine, the wife of former Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine, announced Wednesday morning that she would be filing a lawsuit in Federal Court against ESPN and ESPN employees Arthur Berko and Mark Schwarz for libel.

The announcement was made at Belhurst Castle in Geneva with her attorney, Lawrence Fisher, present.

“I’m here today as a wife and a mother who has endured the trauma of being smeared in the public as a monster,” Laurie Fine said during the press conference.

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In November, ESPN’s Outside the Lines aired a report where two former Syracuse ballboys, Michael Lang and Bobby Davis, accused Bernie Fine of molesting them in the 1970s and 80s. The network later aired a recorded conversation between Fine and Davis, where Fine suggested she knew of an inappropriate relationship between Davis and Bernie Fine.

Fisher said that the recording had been manipulated and certain portions of the recording were taken out of context.

“We are seeking to hold ESPN responsible for their reprehensible actions,” Fisher said.

ESPN responded that it stood by its reporting in a statement.

No criminal charges have been filed against Bernie Fine, and a statement from his lawyer called the accusations of Davis and Lang “patently false.”

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The Big Orange was founded in 1992. The publication was one of approximately 50 independent publications devoted to the coverage of its school's athletics programs. The Big Orange was a weekly/bi-weekly print publication until 2002 when it became The Juice, a glossy monthly print magazine which was owned by Fox Sports. The print product ceased publication in June of 2010 and was relaunched as in December of 2010.
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