Marc James, a host for the Boston sports network NESN, has been suspended by the network for a week after a Massachusetts woman posted screenshots of the harassing text messages he sent to her, the network told Deadspin.
Awful Announcing had reported earlier that the suspension was two days.
Alyssa Labrie posted the texts on Saturday, saying that James introduced himself on the street while she was doing a photoshoot and mentioned he worked in television. Thinking she and James “could network professionally,” Labrie exchanged contact information with him. James made repeated attempts to meet up with Labrie and she tried to let him down gently, but James became incensed and began insulting her.
The story garnered further attention when Caroline Phinney covered James’s actions for Babe, prompting Ali Reid, who says she was an intern who worked for a tv show affiliated with NESN, to do her own reporting.
James told Reid that some of the texts weren’t from him—they were from “a girl” he was watching college football with. He declined to identify her, other than to say she was his “friend of 18 years.”
“After the girl scrolled through our previous texts, she mentioned that Alyssa was being a b---- to me, and wanted to go back and forth with her,” James claimed. He said the first he learned of the texts was when he saw them online and that the unnamed girl had deleted his history of texts with Labrie. “The phone was not in my hands for that period of time last night and I can guarantee you that none of those texts are on my phone.”
James also told Reid he “never wanted to date [Labrie] or anything, it was more of a professional thing.”
Reid also spoke with several of James’s former coworkers, who shared stories of his inappropriate actions toward women and said that the texts reflect their interactions with him.
James was hired by NESN in May to host NESN Sports Today, the network’s nightly studio show. He previously worked at radio stations in Tampa, Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale and Charlotte. He changed his on-air name from Marc Benarzyk to Marc James after leaving the Tampa station.