ESPN is “extremely disappointed” after a person recorded a video feed of a private conversation involving “The Jump” host Rachel Nichols. An anonymous party sent Deadspin four clips of that conversation hoping to “expose” Nichols as a “back-stabber.”
Nichols’ conversation reportedly lasted 30 minutes, though Deadspin received only four minutes of edited footage. Since Deadspin received only one side of the conversation, the site declined to reveal the specifics of the call, saying only it was about Nichols’ career and how ESPN was handling NBA Finals coverage. Deadspin added that nothing Nichols said in the clips cast her in a negative light.
An ESPN employee reportedly shot video of the feed — which featured Nichols’ hotel room — on a cell phone and distributed it to others at the company. Nichols is in Orlando shooting her show.
ESPN called that act “indefensible and an intrusion on Rachel’s privacy,” in a statement to Deadspin.
“We are extremely disappointed about the leak of a private conversation. It’s indefensible and an intrusion on Rachel’s privacy,” ESPN said in a statement. “As for the substance of the conversation, it is not reflective of our decision-making on staffing assignments for the NBA, which has largely been driven by the circumstances of the pandemic.”
On top of invading Nichols’ privacy, whoever recorded the video may have also committed a crime. Florida and Connecticut — where ESPN is headquartered — are two-party consent states. Nichols didn’t seem to realize she was being recorded.
ESPN reporter Erin Andrews was involved in a similar incident in 2009. While Andrews was staying at a hotel, Michael David Barrett recorded video of Andrews from the peephole on her door. Barrett then posted the footage online. He was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for stalking Andrews.
Nichols did not appear in the Orlando video recording.
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