Laurie Fine Sues ESPN For Libel

Laurie Fine, the wife of former Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine, has filed a lawsuit against ESPN for libel.

The lawsuit states that ESPN “spitefully destroyed Laurie Fine’s reputation in an attempt to capitalize financially in the wake of the Penn State sex abuse scandal.”

Fine’s lawsuit centers around an audio tape of a conversation she had with Bobby Davis in 2002. In the tape, Fine seemingly admits that she knew that her husband was molesting children.

Fine says on the recording: “I know everything that went on, you know. I know everything that went on with him. If it were another girl like I told you, it would be easy to step in because you know what you’re up against… (When) it’s another guy, you can’t compete with that.”

Fine says that ESPN “sweetened” the recording to make it seem like she was implicating her husband’s guilt. Fine said that she was being agreeable in the conversation because she didn’t want to yell at Davis. The lawsuit claims that ESPN carefully spliced together the conversation to make it seem like Fine was speaking out against her husband.

The lawsuit also claims that ESPN’s story included several falsehoods. Among them, Fine says that she did not “create a space” for children to be molested in secret; she did not witness her husband molest any children; she did not knowingly permit sexual molestation in her house; she did not tell Robert Davis that she knew her husband was molesting him; she did not have an affair with Robert Davis.

[You can read the entire lawsuit here.]

Fox Sports reports that a New York state district attorney said that the allegations against Bernie Fine were credible. Fine has not been prosecuted, however, due to the statute of limitations. Bernie Fine has denied any wrongdoings.

Fine and her attorney have scheduled a press conference for later today to publicly announce their lawsuit against ESPN.