John Skipper explains why he resigned as President of ESPN.
Former ESPN President John Skipper recently revealed that he resigned as president of ESPN and co-chairman of Disney Media Networks after being extorted by a man he bought cocaine from.
In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Skipper explains that he had never done cocaine at work at ESPN and had used "quite infrequently" over the past 20 years. If he truly had a substance abuse problem, as he states in the interview, it's hard to believe he used infrequently.
Skipper, who had worked at ESPN for 27 years, says he was careful about hiding his use, including who he bought from, but that changed last year when he picked up from someone different for the first time.
"In December, someone from whom I bought cocaine attempted to extort me," Skipper told the Hollywood Reporter.
“They threatened me, and I understood immediately that threat put me and my family at risk, and this exposure would put my professional life at risk as well,” Skipper says. “I foreclosed that possibility by disclosing the details to my family, and then when I discussed it with [Disney CEO] Bob [Iger], he and I agreed that I had placed the company in an untenable position and as a result, I should resign.”
Shortly after the extortion plot, Skipper resigned as President of ESPN on December 18, 2017. He has since been to therapy and sought treatment for his addiction, telling the Hollywood Reporter, “I’m actually quite excited. In some ways I have no choice but to make the best of it. And I do intend to make the best of it. I’ve been meeting with people, and that has gotten me even more excited. I’m healthy, and I’m ready to plunge back in."