Mike Leach suing ESPN and a P.R. firm - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Mike Leach suing ESPN and a P.R. firm

By Amber Stegall - email And By James Clark - email 

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Mike Leach's attorney announced in a Wednesday afternoon press conference that they have filed a slander and libel lawsuit against ESPN and Spaeth Communications. 

Earlier this year, Leach sued both Texas Tech and ESPN Commentator Craig James.  Leach was fired in December 2009 amid allegations that he abused James' son Adam James.  Leach denies the allegation. 

Liggett says the reasons behind the lawsuit against ESPN and Spaeth are clear. He says despite sworn testimony from Adam James stating Mike Leach never locked him in an electrical closet, ESPN provided misinformation and comments to the contrary, and that was picked up by the rest of the country, damaging Leach's reputation.

Attorney for Craig and Adam James, Scott McLaughlin, spoke to KCBD NewsChannel 11 on the phone. "I think it's consistent really with what he's done all along, and that he is trying to find someone to blame for his own conduct."  McLaughlin continues, "He needs to man up and accept responsibility for what he did and try to move on instead of blaming everybody around."

McLaughlin also says, "He got a lot of air time [from ESPN] and he said a lot of things he shouldn't have in that 40-minute interview.  I guess he's not suing himself though."

Spaeth Communications is also named as a defendant. Liggett contends Spaeth was hired by the James family, and provided a YouTube video of James in an electrical closet.  The lawsuit says the video fueled the erroneous reports against Leach.

Leach is seeking monetary damages and an injunction against ESPN & Spaeth ordering them not to say that Leach caused Adam James' injuries or made his injuries worse.  "Money is not the primary concern here," said Ted Liggett. "Mike Leach wants his name cleared."

"Why is there still the image across this country that somehow Adam was locked into a closet and punished?"  Liggett answers his own question by saying,  "There have been certain articles around the country stating that Adam was forced to practice with a concussion.  The genesis of all these articles and reporting's came from ESPN's early reporting and can be traced all the way back to statements Craig James has made as an agent of ESPN." 

Liggett contends that the false statements are still damaging even to this day.  "Not only have they not been retracted, but they have yet to even state that another side of the story even exists.  It's as if they have tried Mike and convicted him."

Liggett says the lawsuit was Mike Leach's idea and he knows it is tough to take on a big broadcasting power.

To see the court documents, CLICK HERE.

Copyright 2010 KCBD NewsChannel 11.  All rights reserved.

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