ESPN's Phillips Benched After Admitting Affair

Married ex-Mets GM in new sex scandal involving 22-year-old assistant

By Greg Wilson
|  Thursday, Oct 22, 2009  |  Updated 2:48 PM CDT
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ESPN's Phillips Benched After Admitting Affair

AP

Steve Phillips is caught in the middle of another sex scandal.

ESPN analyst Steve Phillips, who got into a messy sex scandal a decade ago when he was the Mets' general manager, has been benched at the sports network after admitting he had an affair with a production assistant less than half his age.

Phillips, 46, admitted to cops and his wife that he had an affair with a 22-year-old production assistant at the sports network last summer, then took an "extended leave of absence" yesterday after word of the lurid affair leaked.

"I am deeply sorry that I have put my family and colleagues through this," said Phillips, who resurrected his baseball career at ESPN after stormy tenure with the Mets that included settling a sexual harassment lawsuit with a team employee and his eventual firing. "It is a personal matter that I will not comment on further. I have, however, asked for a leave of absence to address this with my family and to address any unnecessary distractions through the balance of the baseball playoffs."

Phillips' initial confession came after the assistant, angry she had been dumped by Phillips, hand-delivered a letter to Phillips' wife at their luxury Wilton, Conn., home in which she described the affair, weaving in comments about the Phillips' children and even intimate details about the baseball maven's anatomy, according to the Post, which published the letter. Phillips' wife. Marni, who is the mother of his four sons, told cops she had received a voicemail and text message from the woman, as well.

Even more disturbing was the woman's alleged efforts to contact the Phillips' 16-year-old son through Facebook, posing as a classmate, according to the Post. The boy told cops she claimed to have overheard his mom saying his parents were divorcing, and then tried to pry details about their home life from him. Phillips, who the Post reported is divorcing his wife and recently turned over the deed to their house to her, declined to press criminal charges against the woman. But the former GM was clearly shaken by the episode.

"I have extreme concerns about the health and safety of my kids and myself," Phillips said in a police statement obtained by the Post and posted on the newspaper's website.

Marni Phillips told police she returned home in August with her seven-year-old son to see the woman walking down her driveway, after she had left the chilling letter. The woman scurried to her car, jumped in and smashed her car into a stone column near their house, Marni Phillips told police.

"I knew immediately this was the woman Steve was involved with and I was terrified," Marni Phillips told police.

ESPN said in a statement that Phillips had been disciplined, but did not go into detail.

"We were aware of (the affair) and took appropriate disciplinary action. We have granted Steve's request for an extended leave of absence to allow him to address it."

The Post reported that the woman is still employed at the Bristol, Conn., offices.

In 1998, Phillips took a week-long leave of absence from the Mets after admitting to having sex with team employee Rosa Rodriguez. He returned to the team after settling her lawsuit for an undisclosed amount. The Mets fired him in 2003.

Get more: The New York Post

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