Laurie Fine accuses ESPN of libel

May 16, 2012

The wife of former Syracuse University basketball coach Bernie Fine is suing ESPN. Laurie Fine accused the sports network of libel in a news conference at a resort in Geneva today.

Fine, flanked by her two daughters, a son-in-law and nephew, told reporters that her life was destroyed after ESPN covered allegations that her husband had sexually abused two ball boys.

She says she hasn't been able to go out in public since the stories aired last November, and can't get a job.

"Today, through my attorneys, I have taken the first step towards restoring my good name. The lawsuit I file in federal court says it all. I have never engaged in and condone despicable content falsely reported by ESPN, Mark Schwarz and Arty Berko," Fine said.

According to the lawsuit, stories depicted Fine as knowing that sex abuse was taking place in her home, as well as having sexual relations with a teen.  Fine is asking for an apology as well as compensatory and punitive damages.

ESPN says it stands behind its reporting.