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ESPN is ‘extremely disappointed’ after host Rachel Nichols was secretly recorded discussing network

‘An indefensible intrusion on privacy’: ESPN is ‘extremely disappointed’ after host Rachel Nichols was secretly recorded discussing network business on a phone call in her hotel room

  • In a failed attempt to discredit Rachel Nichols, the longtime ESPN host was secretly recorded discussing network personnel in her Florida hotel room
  • In a statement, ESPN said it was ‘extremely disappointed’ in the ‘intrusion’ 
  • Deadspin is reporting that an anonymous party sent the website four cell phone recordings of a video feed in which Nichols, 46, can be heard on a phone call 
  • Although Deadspin claims the sender was trying to show Nichols to be a ‘back stabber’ or a ‘phony,’ the website said the footage didn’t discredit her in any way
  • Like many NBA reporters, Nichols is in the midst of a week-long quarantine at Disney in Orlando as the league looks to restart the season later this month
  • Nichols’s room is equipped with the live feed so she can do her show, The Jump, while staying quarantined. Deadspin believes the footage came from that feed
  • Both Florida and Connecticut, where ESPN is based, are two-party consent states, which means recording Nichols without her knowledge was illegal 

In a failed attempt to discredit Rachel Nichols, the longtime ESPN host was secretly recorded discussing network personnel in her Florida hotel room while awaiting the start of the NBA season inside the league’s bubble at Disney World outside Orlando

ESPN is ‘extremely disappointed’ after a private phone conversation of network host Rachel Nichols was leaked to Deadspin in a failed attempt to discredit the famous broadcaster as a ‘back stabber.’

‘We are extremely disappointed about the leak of a private conversation,’ read the statement given to Deadspin. ‘It’s indefensible and an intrusion on Rachel’s privacy.’

On Thursday, Deadspin reported that an anonymous party sent the website four cell phone recordings of a video feed in which Nichols, 46, can allegedly be heard discussing her own career, ESPN staff, and network coverage for the remainder of the NBA’s coronavirus-shortened season.

Like many NBA reporters, Nichols is in the midst of a week-long quarantine as the league looks to protect players, coaches and staff in hopes of restarting the season with 22 teams at the end of the month. Nichols’s room is equipped with a live feed so she can broadcast her show, The Jump, while remaining quarantined.

Deadspin believes that the footage was captured by an ESPN employee from that live feed at a time when Nichols was unaware that she was being recorded. Deadspin’s sources claimed that one network employee recorded the feed and disseminated it to others in the company. 

It is not clear if that is the same person who shared the footage with Deadspin.   

Like many NBA reporters, Nichols is in the midst of a week-long quarantine as the league looks to protect players, coaches and staff in hopes of restarting the season with 22 teams at the end of the month. Nichols's room is equipped with a live feed so she can broadcast her show, The Jump, while remaining quarantined

Like many NBA reporters, Nichols is in the midst of a week-long quarantine as the league looks to protect players, coaches and staff in hopes of restarting the season with 22 teams at the end of the month. Nichols’s room is equipped with a live feed so she can broadcast her show, The Jump, while remaining quarantined

The video does not show Nichols’s face, and, citing privacy concerns, Deadspin has chosen not detail the 30-minute conversation.

However, the website did reveal that the anonymous sender was attempting to discredit Nichols by sharing footage purportedly showing her to be a ‘back stabber.’

That effort appears to have failed. According to Deadspin, the footage did not show Nichols saying anything that would make her look like a ‘back stabber’ or a ‘phony ally.’ 

‘As for the substance of the conversation, it is not reflective of our decision-making on staffing assignments for the NBA, which has largely been driven by the circumstances of the pandemic,’ the statement continued. 

Both Florida and Connecticut, where ESPN is headquartered, are two-party consent states, which means recording Nichols without her knowledge was illegal.

News of the recording comes 12 years after another ESPN host, Erin Andrews, was secretly recorded through her peep hole undressing in her hotel rooms in Milwaukee and Nashville. The video went viral before her stalker, Michael Barrett, was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison.

Nichols is one of ESPN’s biggest names over the past decade, outside of a two-year sabbatical at CNN, and has been named one of The Hollywood reporter’s ’10 Most Powerful Voices in Sports Media.’

She is married to Max Nichols, who is the son of film and stage director Mike Nichols.

Andrews' stalker Michael Barrett was sentenced to two years in prison for secretly recording the ESPN host

News of the recording comes 12 years after another ESPN host, Erin Andrews, was secretly recorded through her peep hole undressing in her hotel rooms in Milwaukee and Nashville. The video went viral before her stalker, Michael Barrett, was sentenced to two years in prison

News of the recording comes after another ESPN host, Erin Andrews (right), was secretly recorded through her peep hole undressing in her hotel rooms in Milwaukee and Nashville in 2008. The video went viral before her stalker, Michael Barrett (left), was sentenced to prison

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