Britt McHenry, a Washington D.C.-based bureau reporter for ESPN, has been suspended one week by the network following the release of a video tape on Thursday in which she is seen berating a towing company worker. “I’m in the news, sweetheart,” says McHenry on the video. “I will f------ sue this place.”
In what appears to be an edited tape, the woman at the towing establishment then threatens to play the video of the interaction. McHenry is shown on the tape responding.
“I wouldn’t work in a scumbag place like this,” she says. “That’s all you care about, taking people’s money. With no education, no skill set, just wanted to clarify that. Do you feel good about your job?... So I can be a college dropout and do the same thing?... Maybe if I was missing some teeth they would hire me, huh?... I’m in television and you’re in a f------ trailer, honey.”
The video ends with McHenry telling the attendant to, “Lose some weight, baby girl.”
As of this writing, McHenry has not responded to an email from SI.com but did release a statement on Twitter:
"In an intense and stressful moment, I allowed my emotions to get the best of me and said some insulting and regrettable things," McHenry said. "As frustrated as I was, I should always choose to be respectful and take the high road. I am so sorry for my actions and will learn from this mistake."
The Busted Coverage website identified the worker as Gina Michelle and posted a piece on her here.
Prior to joining ESPN in 2014, McHenry worked as a sports reporter in Washington, D.C., at ABC7/WJLA-TV and at News Channel 8. She began her career in Washington as a community reporter and weekend morning-show anchor. McHenry earned a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and holds a bachelor’s degree from Stetson University, where she was a member of the school’s soccer team.
At the time of McHenry's hiring, ESPN senior vice president and director of news Vince Doria praised her newsgathering abilities.
“In a relatively short time, Britt has established a reputation for strong, aggressive reporting in the D.C. area, and an ability to land big interviews,” said Doria. “Her presence there will be a great benefit to ESPN’s newsgathering, and, as with all of our bureau reporters, she will be assigned to high-profile stories around the country.”