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Report: ESPN settles sexual harassment claim involving Chris Berman

Chris Berman was reportedly involved in a sexual harassment claim at ESPN. | Getty Images

A former makeup artist at ESPN has settled a sexual harassment claim with the network involving Chris Berman, according to a report by The Big Lead.

From The Big Lead:

The former ESPN makeup artist, Sue Baumann, was represented by the office of high profile lawyer Gloria Allred. A person familiar with the matter told The Big Lead that there were allegations against Berman – including comments he allegedly made in the makeup room and text messages going back a few years – and ESPN decided to settle. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the claims.

An ESPN spokesman sent this statement to The Big Lead:

“Our thorough investigation revealed the harassment claims had no merit. We settled it solely to save a considerable amount of time and litigation costs.”

According to the story, Baumann worked predominantly with the NFL Countdown crew of Berman, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Cris Carter, with whom she reportedly had a relationship in 2013. The report says the two broke off the relationship, but not before Baumann’s husband was asked to stop “calling and harassing an employee at ESPN” in a police report obtained by The Big Lead.

The story says Baumann, who is in her mid-40s, was fired this summer.

From The Big Lead:

After she was fired, Baumann raised allegations of sexual harassment against Berman, the Countdown host. One person close to the situation said some text messages dating back to 2011 were an issue, and ESPN’s senior coordinator producer for Countdown, Seth Markman, had been made aware of some of them by Baumann’s husband.

Berman has been with the network since 1979 and is sometimes referred to as “the face of ESPN.”

Last month, ESPN laid off more than 300 staffers for budgetary reasons.