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Former ESPN President John Skipper forced to resign over cocaine use and drug dealer’s extortion plot

March 15, 2018  |  Posted by: Michael Falzarano
Former ESPN President John Skipper forced to resign over cocaine use and drug dealer’s extortion plot

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Substance abuse involving the use of cocaine which led to an extortion plot by an accused drug dealer ultimately resulted in the abrupt resignation of former ESPN President John Skipper back in December.

The former network president made the revelation during a candid interview with the Hollywood Reporter.

Skipper told the magazine he had always taken a cautious approach regarding his drug use, but “not this time. It turned out I wasn’t careful this time.”

The former executive said he infrequently used cocaine over the past 20 years, but maintained his habit never affected his job performance while during his time at ESPN and never used the drug during work hours.

“At ESPN I did not use at work, nor with anyone at work, or with anyone I did business with. I never allowed it to interfere with my work, other than a missed plane and a few canceled morning appointments,” John Skipper said while expressing his regrets at the consequence of his substance abuse.

“I wish that had been the outcome, I didn’t ask for that outcome, though. I was overwhelmed by the circumstance ” Skipper said. “I simply just disclosed the facts, and it became clear in my conversation with Bob what I needed to do. Everything happened very quickly.”

Skipper said he felt the need to come clean about his cocaine habit after a dealer who he purchased the drug from attempted to extort him.

“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 said. “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.”

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