Jemele Hill on The View.

Hours after TMZ reported that a lawsuit from former ESPN employee Adrienne Lawrence accused Chris Berman of sending Jemele Hill a “racially disparaging voicemail,” Hill has come to Berman’s defense.

In a note tweeted around 7 p.m. Monday, Hill denied that Berman ever left her an inappropriate voicemail and called Lawrence’s characterization of her conversation with Berman “dangerously inaccurate.” Hill then took a thinly veiled shot at Lawrence, writing that she was “disappointed that someone I considered to be a friend at one point would misrepresent and relay a private conversation without my knowledge … for personal gain.”

In a preemptive strike against claims that she is simply carrying water for her company, Hill then followed up with a tweet saying that she writes her own statements, without pressure from ESPN or anyone else.

The claim about Berman’s alleged voicemail to Hill comes from a lawsuit against ESPN that Lawrence reportedly filed recently. This suit appears to be separate from the complaint she filed last summer with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, which the Boston Globe reported on in December as part of an expose on sexual harassment at ESPN.

In a statement released Monday, ESPN called Lawrence’s allegations “entirely without merit.”

“We conducted a thorough investigation of the claims Adrienne Lawrence surfaced to ESPN and they are entirely without merit. Ms. Lawrence was hired into a two-year talent development program and was told that her contract would not be renewed at the conclusion of the training program. At that same time, ESPN also told 100 other talent with substantially more experience, that their contracts would not be renewed. The company will vigorously defend its position and we are confident we will prevail in court.”

This probably won’t be the last we hear of Lawrence, who worked at ESPN from 2015-17 as part of a fellowship program but was denied a full-time job. In December, she alleged that SportsCenter anchor John Buccigross had crudely hit on her over text, including by sending unwanted shirtless photos, then spread rumors that the two were dating.

Those allegations led to ESPN publishing a portion of Buccigross and Lawrence’s text message history and the Globe responding with a fuller version of the same conversation. At the time, ESPN claimed that Lawrence’s accusations were baseless and declined to discipline Buccigross.

Berman has not publicly responded to Lawrence’s accusation.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports,, and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.