Laurie Fine is breaking her silence and speaking out nearly six months after her husband was accused of sexual abuse.
Wednesday morning, the wife of former Syracuse University associate head coach Bernie Fine announced she plans to sue ESPN for libel, claiming that the TV network destroyed her reputation when it aired news stories about her husband late last year.
Here's the full transcript of Laurie's announcement:
"Thanks for coming everyone. Today through my attorneys I have taken the first step towards restoring my good name.
The lawsuit I have filed in federal court says it all. I have never engaged in and condoned despicable conduct falsely reported by ESPN, Mark Schwarz or Artie Burko. Although these defendants have known me to be a decent and honorable woman, they have maliciously attacked me in order to attack my husband and to boost television ratings in the wake of the Penn State scandal.
In pursuit of these objectives, ESPN, Schwarz and Burko knowingly and maliciously published the treacherous lies of Bobby Davis. Through the steps I am now taking, I will try to establish both stability I have lost in my own life and journalist credibility that ESPN has so easily abandoned during the indefensible coverage of Bobby's transparently false story.
I'm here today as a wife and a mother who has had to endure the trauma who has been smeared in the public as a monster. My family and close friends have stood by me, they know that i am a kind and loving person but my life has been destroyed through the defamation that I have suffered and this will last a lifetime. I may never again be able to engage in the charity work that I love so much.
I have lived in seclusion for the past six months and may never be viewed in my community with the respect that i have earned through the years of my dedication to the city of Syracuse. It is impossible for me to describe here today what ESPN has taken away from me, and with Schwarz and Burko. They should apologize and retract these horrible lies reported about me. Only after these defendants have taken responsibility for their reprehensible actions they should be held accountable and then justice will be served. I direct now my questions to Lawrence Fischer."
In November, Laurie Fineâ??s husband Bernie Fine was accused of sexually abusing two Syracuse University ball boys while he was the assistant basketball coach for SU.
Laurie Fine was thrust into the center of the scandal after
ESPN released a taped phone conversation
between her and Bobby Davis. In the tape, Laurie seems to acknowledge the abuse, and says, "Bernie has issues."
The day that tape came out, Bernie Fine was fired from his job as associate head basketball coach at Syracuse University.
In the fallout from the scandal, Bobby Davis and his step-brother, Mike Lang, sued head coach Jim Boeheim for defamation. Davis and Lang claimed Boeheim knew he was lying when he called them liars shortly after the allegations came out.
In court filings in the defamation case, Davis submitted statements saying Laurie Fine had sexual relationships with basketball players, and Boeheim would have known about those activities.
A judge later determined
Laurie Fine's sex life was irrelevant to the defamation lawsuit, but the accusations had already become public knowledge. The
defamation lawsuit was dismissed
The couple has not spoken publically about the allegations and Bernie Fine has not been charged.