Report: ESPN settles sexual harassment claim involving Chris Berman

AP

The man who once flirted creepily into a live microphone and open camera with a female colleague allegedly has done more of the same, and perhaps worse.

According to Jason McIntyre of TheBigLead.com, a former ESPN makeup artist settled a sexual harassment claim against the network, and the focal point of the case was Chris Berman.

Gloria Allred represented the makeup artist, Sue Baumann, whose claims included allegations against Berman arising from comments made in the makeup room and in text messages.

ESPN acknowledged the settlement, while downplaying the situation, in a statement issued to McIntyre: “Our thorough investigation revealed the harassment claims had no merit. We settled it solely to save a considerable amount of time and litigation costs,” ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said.

According to the report, Baumann and Cris Carter disclosed a consensual relationship to ESPN management in 2013. Twice that year, police were called to Baumann’s house after investigators showed up and claimed to work for an “employee at ESPN.” The investigators told Baumann’s husband to cease “calling and harassing an employee at ESPN.” According to McIntyre, the ESPN employee was Carter.

Baumann, who was employed by a company that provided makeup services on a contract basis to ESPN, filed suit after being fired in 2015.

It’s unclear whether the lawsuit made allegations against Carter. The report mentions only Berman as a target of the allegations.

ESPN’s explanation regarding the reason for the settlement invites speculation as to the amount of the financial package given to Baumann. Corporate defendants that settle civil cases always insist on a broad, onerous confidentiality provision, which usually allows either side to state only that “the matter has been resolved.”

Depending on the precise language of the confidentiality clause in the settlement paperwork, ESPN’s explanation that it settled the case “to save a considerable amount of time and litigation costs” possibly violates the deal. At a minimum, it suggests that a significant amount may have been paid, not only to “save a considerable amount of time and litigation costs” but to avoid an ugly, public fight that would have eventually resulted in plenty of embarrassing dirty laundry being aired out in open court, creating a huge distraction for ESPN and, at a time when the four-letter network is searching for ways to trim fat, given the suits ample reason to part ways with even more high-dollar talent.

76 responses to “Report: ESPN settles sexual harassment claim involving Chris Berman

  1. ESPN sucks straight front runners no gambler watches ESPN for insight into the weeks games. If fact they bet the opposite because the public runs with ESPN and makes horrible bets

  2. Let’s see ESPN apply the same standards to this story that they apply when an athlete gets in a jam. I want Stephen A. Smith demanding that Berman be fired and never employed again. I want Around the Horn to spend a segment on the problem of harassment at ESPN, with each reporter trying to out PC the last one. I want Mike Greenberg to pontificate for hours on the this. I want calls for heads to roll. Go ahead ESPN, tar and feather your own like you do to outsiders.

  3. Wow. Their criteria for who gets fired and who doesn’t seems to be inconsistent at best. Harold Reynolds and Steve Phillips both fired. Cris Carter and senile Berman no consequences. Not saying the other two didn’t need to go. Just curious

  4. Great, now ESPN has more resources to work on their QBR. Who knows; maybe next week they’ll have Mike Vick rated ahead of Brady?

  5. Where does Berman fit in all this? Cris Carter and the makeup lady had an affair. Disclosed it to ESPN. Lady’s husband called ESPN, probably threatening to do bodily harm to Carter. Carter gets security to deal with it. ESPN fires makeup lady. Lady sues ESPN.

    Berman gets sued for being a muppet on TV each week? What did I miss?

  6. Back in the 90s I couldn’t go a day without Sportscenter, now I can barley stomach watching Monday Night Football with that horrible duo of Gruden and Tirico. If it wasn’t for the games I want to see I wouldn’t watch ESPN at all. Look at the PoSes they have working there, Carter,Berman, Tirico and Stephen A just to name a few. I loathe that network.

  7. isn’t this like the third or fourth incident with berman already? this is on top of accounts of countless people on message boards with their own stories of seeing him out being a creep, especially in the SF area.

    it’s crazy they employ him and tirico still. those two can’t leave women alone.

    they keep berman around as if the people adore him and clamor to hear his voice. the guy sucks.

  8. Wendy Nix of ESPN just went off on Jerry Jones for keeping Hardy around. I wonder if she has anything to say about Mickey Mouse keeping Berman around or if she considers sexual harassment okay because it’s a lesser crime than assault & battery.

  9. I’ll buy Cris Carter being a dirt ball and sleeping with another mans wife. I’ll also buy the special harassment claim against Berman. Guy just seems like the type of guy that thinks he’s funny and/or smooth but isn’t. Both seem to be huge egomaniacs.

  10. Let the dirty laundry fly!!!!

    That is what is wrong with system. The system that is set up now just makes things worse. You see no one ever has to own what is done, whether the deed has been done or it is fabricated and is an extortion attempt. Until everything is done in the open you will continue to perpetuate both sides. It’s like the line in a Christmas Story. “Kids know is better not to get caught” so in these cases no one ever get caught.

  11. Come on, it’s not like Berman is the one who has intimate knowledge of an open murder investigation, that would be Ray Lewis. Anybody else still amazed about this? Say something that offends a few people, get fired or suspended, be part of a murder, front and center on football coverage. Mickey Mouse must be so proud ESPiN!

  12. Hmmm. Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. I’m sure his wife would claim emotional abuse. ALL HYPOCRITES. Make me want to laugh

  13. I’m thinking it was an innocent mistake. He was practicing “He could go all the way” and she took it wrong. D’oh!

  14. Chris Berman is one of those guys I never got. He ads nothing to the conversation. I actually switched to NFL Network for my draft coverage this year because I was so sick of listening to Berman. He needs to go the way of Jimmy the Greek.

  15. Gloria Allred represented the makeup artist…
    ~~~~~~~~~~~
    Of course she did. There was a wealthy defendant. She is worse than any ambulance chaser. Too many of her clients have been proven liars. I’m amazed she keeps getting hired by these women because as soon as I see her name, I immediately become skeptical until there is no doubt at all to the claims.

  16. “Now Teej, let me tell you some thing, no body grabs asses and circles the wagons like an overrated, aged, self important, painted hair, clown called Chris Berman! Like Huey Lewis and the news said 80 years ago, that guy loves being a perv!” Now, back to the show!

  17. She could go all the way down and she does…….now she is back back back up for some Motor Boating……..bla bla bla

  18. Wait, I thought Carter was married? I wonder if he took his own symposium advice and used Berman as “the fall guy”?????
    Swell guy that Chris Carter…….

  19. Not a fan of ESPN… But this chick sounds like a HUGE troublemaker. I’m sure she needed lots of money from Bermans flirts.

  20. Berman’s 15 minutes of fame were up 15 years ago, he must have pictues of the President of ESPN in a garter belt and a dog leash because there is no logical reason he is still employed.

    You would think sleazy, low rent behavior would get you fired from ESPN but now I have come to realize that is nothing more than a basic job requirement to get hired in the first place.

  21. Well, it’s not like Berman said anything negative about Donovan McNabb’s quarterbacking abilities. That would be a far more serious offense than sexual harassment.

    Does anyone think that there will be 26 members of Congress publicly demanding that ESPN fire these guys? Didn’t think so.

  22. Somebody said it earlier.. I couldn’t go a Sunday without watching Primetime back in the day…

    Now I make it a point to turn the channel before Sportscenter even comes on.

    I don’t like the blatant agendas the whole station.

    They lost me when air pressure became headlines.

    Now they are just out of control arrogant spineless weasels. Anyone with any integrity left that station already.

  23. did Berman give them clever nicknames, too?

    Sue “me for every penny” Baumann…?
    Gloria “spank me until my bottom is” Allred…?

  24. “robaloconmosca
    Nov 10, 2015, 12:41 PM PST
    Let’s see ESPN apply the same standards to this story that they apply when an athlete gets in a jam. I want Stephen A. Smith demanding that Berman be fired and never employed again. I want Around the Horn to spend a segment on the problem of harassment at ESPN, with each reporter trying to out PC the last one. I want Mike Greenberg to pontificate for hours on the this. I want calls for heads to roll. Go ahead ESPN, tar and feather your own like you do to outsiders.”

    What He said!!!

  25. So…..you mean to tell me that ALL of Cris Carters’ HOF presentation about his…’wonderful wife”…was a lie?

    Which Baumann was/is Carter involved with??…Sue, or her husband????

    Why was theis not ” leaked” out to Mortensen ???? Not fabricated enough????

  26. So…Now they’ll get it in reverse….

    Kraft productions…will air the leaks about Carter and Berman…and then offer retractions to their lies @ a 12:30 am twitter statement.

    Cris Carter…one of the NFL’s all time dirtbags…even worse in person if/when you meet him….Ask Randy Moss.

  27. oldschoolomen says:
    Nov 10, 2015 3:43 PM
    Where does Berman fit in all this? Cris Carter and the makeup lady had an affair. Disclosed it to ESPN. Lady’s husband called ESPN, probably threatening to do bodily harm to Carter. Carter gets security to deal with it. ESPN fires makeup lady. Lady sues ESPN.

    Berman gets sued for being a muppet on TV each week? What did I miss?
    ______________________

    I am guessing berman was carter’s fall guy…

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