The website at the center of the Bill Simmons Media Group, The Ringer, put out a statement on Tuesday morning confirming the “indefinite” suspension of Eric Weinberger, the organization’s president, following historic allegations of sexual misconduct.
Weinberger is named in a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court against NFL Enterprises by Jami Cantor, a former NFL Network employee. Cantor, who worked as a stylist at the network, claims she was sexually harassed by on-air talent including ex-NFL players Marshall Faulk, Donovan McNabb, Ike Taylor and Heath Evans. Faulk, Taylor and Evans, all current NFL Network employees, have been suspended by the company.
In the lawsuit, a copy of which was published by Deadspin on Tuesday morning, Cantor alleges that “throughout” her employment with the NFL, which began in 2006, she was subjected to “ongoing and continual sexual harassment.”
Among the perpetrators, she alleges, was Weinberger. As an executive producer at NFL Network, Cantor claims he “sent several nude pictures” to her. The lawsuit also claims Weinberger sent “sexually explicit texts” to Cantor. “[Plaintiff] was put on earth to pleasure me,” one reads.
Another says: “Watching you walk down the hall makes me crazy, your a** drives me insane.” Weinberger is also alleged to have behaved inappropriately physically. The lawsuit claims he “pressed his crotch” against Cantor’s shoulder and “asked her to touch it.”
The Ringer said it had placed Weinberger on indefinite leave.
“These are very serious and disturbing allegations that we were made aware of today,” a spokesperson told Kevin Draper of the New York Times. “We are placing Eric on leave indefinitely until we have a better understanding of what transpired during his time at the NFL, and we will conduct our own internal investigation.”
Newsweek has also reached out to The Ringer to offer Weinberger right to reply.
Weinberger became President of Bill Simmons Media Group, which includes The Ringer and a number of podcasts, in November 2015, the same year Simmons left ESPN.
“I can’t wait to start working with Eric,” Simmons said in a statement reported by Deadline at the time. “He’s a talented guy with an impeccable reputation, someone who is uniquely equipped to help me build an innovative multi-media company from scratch. We’re both beyond excited to start brainstorming about my show and other HBO Sports projects as well. I know from experience that you’re only as good as the people around you, and Eric is one of the very best.”
HBO signed on as an initial investor in The Ringer in 2016, when the site first launched. Simmons signed a deal with HBO in July 2015 that included his own talk show.
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