ESPN analyst Steve Phillips acknowledged having an affair with an assistant at the cable network and has taken a leave of absence during the playoffs.
Phillips said yesterday in a statement released by ESPN that he requested the leave “to address this with my family and to avoid any unnecessary distractions through the balance of the baseball playoffs.’’
ESPN said it took “appropriate disciplinary action’’ when this happened in August, but would not comment further.
Police say 22-year-old production assistant Brooke Hundley began calling Phillips’s wife, Marni, on Aug. 5 after he broke off the affair and sent her a letter graphically describing their relationship and Phillips’s birthmarks. She allegedly told Phillips’s wife that “we both can’t have him,’’ according to a Wilton, Conn., police report.
“I’m a real person in his life and I care deeply about his happiness,’’ reads the letter police said is from Hundley. “I’m coming out now because I’m sick of hiding and sneaking around behind your back.’’
Phillips, 46, is a former general manager of the Mets. In 1998, Phillips admitted having sex with a team employee, who sued for sexual harassment. That case was settled out of court.
Marni Phillips called police Aug. 19 when she came home to find Hundley in her driveway. “I knew instinctively that this was the woman Steve was involved with and I was terrified,’’ she wrote in a statement to police.
Hundley’s car smashed into a stone column as she backed out of the driveway and she escaped by driving across the lawn. Marni Phillips said she discovered a note describing her husband’s relationship with Hundley attached to her front door.
Later that evening, the Phillips’s 16-year-old son told his parents that Hundley had posed as a high school classmate and sent repeated instant messages asking personal questions about his family and his parents’ marriage, according to the police report. She also posed as a second friend, contacting him through the son’s Facebook account, the report said.
“This woman has clearly displayed erratic behavior and delusional tendencies,’’ Phillips said in a statement to police.
According to the Wilton police report, Phillips told police and his wife about the affair after being pressed to do so by Hundley. He said the affair was three meetings that all took place in July.
Phillips is being sued for divorce by his wife, the mother of their four sons, the New York Post reported.