When former ESPN President John Skipper stepped down from his post earlier this year, many in the sports/entertainment industry where shocked by his departure.
Little was known about Skipper’s resignation, outside of the fact that he had a ‘substance abuse’ problem.
Many current and former ESPN employees and personalities were quick to defender John Skipper, but questions remained about his sudden resignation.
Now we have some answers as Skipper himself sat down with the Hollywood Reporter and stated that a cocaine extortion plot was the reason he quit his job.
“They threatened me, and I understood immediately that threat put me and my family at risk, and this exposure would put my professional life at risk as well,” he told the Hollywood Reporter. “I foreclosed that possibility by disclosing the details to my family, and then when I discussed it with Bob, he and I agreed that I had placed the company in an untenable position and as a result, I should resign.”
Skipper said his drug use was born from a desire “to be countercultural,” having worked at Rolling Stone for the first 10 years of his career, and “that recreational drugs were recreational, that they weren’t dangerous.” He repeatedly said his occasional cocaine use did not impact his work at ESPN.
“Never,” he added, also denying any other workplace improprieties. “At ESPN I did not use at work, nor with anyone at work, or with anyone I did business with. I never allowed it to interfere with my work, other than a missed plane and a few canceled morning appointments. I’ve never been a daily user. My use over the past two decades has, in fact, been quite infrequent. I judge that I did a very good job and that it did not get in the way of my work. I worked hard, I worked smart. I worked all the time.”