Laurie Fine is suing ESPN for libel for the network's coverage of allegations against her husband, she announced at a press conference on Wednesday.
Fine alleges that ESPN destroyed her reputation in an attempt to capitalize financially in the tragic wake of the Penn State Abuse Scandal when it published an edited audio tape of a conversation between Fine and Bobby Davis.
Davis, who accused Fine's husband of sexual abuse when he was a Syracuse ballboy, recorded a conversation he had with Laurie Fine that seemingly implicated her husband as guilty. In the 2002 recording, Fine was recorded telling Davis, I know everything that went on, you know. I know everything that went on with him.
She went on to say, I care about you, and I didn't want to see you being treated that way. It's hard...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.
In the recording Fine also admits that her husband needed that male companionship that I can't give him.
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Fine now claims, in a 40-page lawsuit, that ESPN sweetened the recording and that she in no way admitted that her husband sexually took advantage of Davis. She also denies that she had a sexual relationship with Davis, as he has alleged, but instead was agreeable in the recorded conversation because she determined it wasn't worth yelling at him.
Since the tapes were released by ESPN in November, Fine and her children have had difficulty living their lives, including not being able to shop at Wegmans without creating a scene, according to her attorney. Fine and her attorney believe the audio recording was carefully spliced together by ESPN and that a lot of the original tape is inaudible.