In December, ESPN President John Skipper announced his resignation, citing a substance addiction. Skipper now says it wasn’t the addiction that forced him to resign, but rather an unsavory character he used as a source for cocaine, who began extorting him.
Skipper tells the Hollywood Reporter that after having used cocaine for years and always managing to keep it separate from his job, he mixed up with the wrong drug dealer, and that person threatened to do damage to him and to his company.
“It turned out I wasn’t careful this time,” Skipper said. “They threatened me, and I understood immediately that threat put me and my family at risk, and this exposure would put my professional life at risk as well.”
Skipper said he wished he could have gone on temporary leave from ESPN, rather than resigning, but as he talked to Disney CEO Bob Iger about his predicament he quickly came to the conclusion that he was going to have to leave permanently.
“When I discussed it with Bob, he and I agreed that I had placed the company in an untenable position and as a result, I should resign,” Skipper said.
And so Skipper resigned from what he calls “the best job in sports on the planet.”