Mr Monday Night!
|Joined: ||Sun Oct 14th, 2007|
|Location: ||New York USA|
|For the WFAN fans out there, long-time host Joe Benigno got binged.
WFAN sports radio host Joe Benigno is facing sexual harassment allegations in a lawsuit filed earlier this week by former WFAN ad executive Lauren Lockwood.
The suit alleges that Benigno, along with other male station executives, created a Mad Men-esque work environment where drinking began as early as 10 a.m. on some days, affairs with female subordinates were common practice, and prostitutes were frequently hired for ad clients, according to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by the NY Post.
Lockwood claims station's toxic boys club atmosphere frequently resulted in sexual harassment. The lawsuit alleges that Benigno "'whispered in [Lockwood’s] ear about having ‘threesomes’ with him and his wife and prostitutes'" and even showed Lockwood a nude photo of his wife with a prostitute. Benigno would often stop by Lockwood's desk to rub her back and whisper in her ear about his sexual prowess, the suit claims.
Benigno would also allegedly brag about his sexual experiences (including an affair with a co-worker) and fantasies in the office, frequently ranking female colleagues by appearance, Newsday reports. Some of these conversations even took place in front of a human resources exec.
Lockwood's suit alleges that higher-ups at CBS Sports Radio (which managed WFAN) condoned this chauvinistic culture—when ad execs courted potential clients, the liquor tab could run as high as $4000. "Jameson Whisky and pickleback shots were often the choice of alcohol," Lockwood claims in the suit. Drinking wine and beer was perfectly acceptable while on the clock, as was an impromptu game of flip cup.
In addition to plying clients with alcohol, salesmen were also allowed to take them to strip clubs. After one such outing, a saleman "admitted to paying for two prostitutes (cost $1,300) which he put on his own credit card," the suit claims. The next day, "he was seeking reimbursement," for this expense, the Daily News reports.
The final straw came last July, in a luxury suite at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. During a viewing of the Floyd Mayweather/Conor McGregor fight with company execs, an argument between a current and former staffer quickly escalated into an all-out brawl. When Lockwood tried to break it up, she was punched and shoved. The next day, Lockwood was the one suspended from work and reprimanded for acting erratically—not her male coworker, according to the News. She was fired a week later, after working for CBS Radio since 2006.
Lockwood's lawsuit seeks $5 million in damages. The suit, filed in Brooklyn civil court, alleges that company execs interfered with her efforts to get another job after her dismissal from WFAN.
WFAN is managed by CBS Sports Radio, which is owned by Entercom. In a statement issued this morning, an Entercom spokeswoman said, "We learned of a lawsuit involving a former employee who was discharged roughly a year ago. We do not comment on pending litigation, but we do intend to defend the company vigorously."
Benigno's co-host Evan Roberts was alone on air today—according to WFAN's online schedule, Benigno is out this week for a previously scheduled vacation.
"I know, you know there is a big story out there," Roberts reportedly told listeners. "I'm aware of it. But as you probably guessed, if you use your brain, I cannot talk about it. It is a story that involves the courts, the legal process. I do know the company is dealing with it, and I can't add anything personally. So we know that, so if you call in about it, you understand there's nothing I can say. So, I'm not going to play stupid. We're not all idiots. We understand that's out there. I cannot talk about it."
In a statement sent to Newsday, Benigno's agent said, "Joe's been at the station for the better part of 25 years and had no issues, to my knowledge. With any story you hear, people need to always consider the source... Joe denies the allegations, and as anyone can imagine is extremely upset for him and his family."
Last edited on Thu Jul 19th, 2018 05:44 pm by srossi
This thread was great before AA ruined it.