ESPN is being sued by a makeup artist who alleged that she was canned from ESPN2’s Cold Pizza after complaining that the show’s host and one of its panelists had sexually harassed her.
In a suit filed Wednesday in Manhattan Federal Court, Rita Ragone charged that show host Jay Crawford and sports commentator Woody Paige made vulgar sexual remarks to her, and that Paige repeatedly tried to fondle her, once grabbing her butt so hard that she was “propelled forward and into the air,” according to a report by AP.
“The case has absolutely no merit, and we are confident we will prevail in court,” ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys said in a prepared statement.
Ragone was hired by a video-production company to work on Cold Pizza’sManhattan set, doing hair and makeup, in February 2005.
The suit claimed that Ragone was fired last April after complaining about the alleged shenanigans on the Cold Pizza set. Her lawsuit names not only ESPN but Crawford and Paige as defendants.
Last October, baseball commentator Harold Reynolds filed suit against ESPN, charging that he was wrongly let go after a female intern complained about what he called a brief hug.
The Reynolds suit isn’t scheduled to go to trial until February or March 2009, Soltys said.
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