Thursday, October 22, 2009

Phillips Now Fired in Fatal Attraction-Like Scandal

The salacious sex scandal that has enveloped ESPN sportscaster Steve Phillips and rocked the network, has resulted in his dismissal.

Phillips, who had been a baseball analyst for ESPN, publicly acknowledged Oct. 21 of having a torrid sexual affair with an assistant half his age who also worked at the cable sports network.

It is not the first time that Phillips has been embroiled in a sex scandal. Prior to his job as a broadcaster beginning in 2005, Phillips had been the General Manager of the New York Mets. During that time, Phillips admitted having sex with a team employee, Rosa Rodriguez, who sued him and the Mets for sexual harassment. The case was settled out of court.

Sadly, Phillips did not learn from his past mis-behavior. Even sadder, the current scandal, involving ESPN production assistant Brooke Hundley, appears to be far worse, having become a nightmarish “Fatal Attraction” sex scandal that has even touched his family.

After a week of battering news accounts, Phillips was fired from the network Oct. 26, an ESPN statement saying, "It was time to part ways," because the analyst was no longer able to do his job because of the scandal. Hundley was also dismissed from her job, the sports network confirmed.

For his part, Phillips voluntarily entered a sexual rehab center the same day he was fired for treatment of "his issues," his representative announced.

According to the 46-year-old Phillips, he began an affair in July with Hundley, 22. After three sexual encounters, Phillips told police, he had tried to end the affair.

Phillips was forced to confess the affair after a "911" emergency police call placed on Aug. 5 by his wife, Marni, was released to the public.

A distraught Marni Phillips had called police to their Wilton, Conn., home in August seeking help because a "crazy" woman was there making threats.

Mrs. Phillips told police that she did not know who the woman was, but that she was threatening her family, and knew her husband.

After giving the information to the police dispatcher, she said she was going to call her husband, who was not home, to find out the woman's name so she could provide it to police when they arrived.

Phillips told police that Hundley had threatened him and his wife in numerous calls and text messages prior to her coming to their family home, at one time texting, "We both can't have him."

In August, Hundley left a letter at the home containing graphic descriptions of their sexual relationship, along with Phillips' purported birthmarks. In the letter, Hundley said she was not just some "random" woman who had sex in a car with Phillips.

After storming the home, Hundley smashed her car into a stone column while speeding away, according to police.

"I have extreme concerns about the health and safety of my kids and myself," Phillips said in a police statement, alleging that the woman had become "obsessive and delusional" after he ended the relationship.

Thus far, Phillips has declined to pursue criminal charges against Hundley. Sources have speculated that could be because Hundley could retaliate against ESPN and Phillips with a sexual harassment lawsuit of her own.

The police are investigating claims that Hundley used an ESPN computer to contact Phillips' 16-year-old son numerous times on Facebook, posing as a high-school classmate.

ESPN had initially suspended Phillips for only a week in August because of the scandal, and Phillips had simply taken a voluntary leave of absence. His firing was quite abrupt, and occurred after literally thousands of news outlets and bloggers took up the sensational story. Phillips had been hired as a baseball analyst in 2005.

In its original statement released by ESPN announcing the leave of absence, Phillips said he was, "deeply sorry that I have put my family and colleagues through this. It is a personal matter that I will not comment on further."

Phillips said in that statement that he had requested the leave to, "address this with my family and to avoid any unnecessary distractions through the balance of the baseball playoffs."

Phillips did not address the scandal again on Oct. 26, but merely had his representative announce that he had now voluntarily checked himself into an undisclosed sexual rehabilitation center to address, "his issues."

Few commentators believed Phillips' move was sincere, but conjectured rather that it was a public relations move to save his crashing career.

Phillips is being sued for divorce by his 40-year-old wife. The couple has four sons, and Phillips recently turned over the family's five-bedroom, multimillion-dollar Wilton home to her, according to the New York Post.

Hundley has yet to publicly comment, but she wrote on her Facebook page that she had seen the face of "evil," and that he wore chakki pants and blue polo shirts, which Phillips often wears.

"Fatal Attraction" is a 1987 fictional movie, in which a married New York lawyer has an weekend affair with a colleague, who will not let go of him, and stops at nothing to have him – including terrorizing him and his family.

ESPN has been in the news for all of the wrong reasons the past few months. The Phillips episode comes only weeks after a man was arrested for secretly videotaping ESPN reporter Erin Andrews in September.

The sportscaster, who was nude inside her hotel room, was videotaped through a peep hole in the door that had been altered to fit a small camera. The tape made its way to the Internet. Michael David Barrett,49, was arrested and charged in the case.

No comments:

Post a Comment