The New York Post on Thursday defended its publication of photos from an illicitly filmed Internet video showing ESPN reporter Erin Andrews naked in a hotel room by accusing the sports network of having outed her.
ESPN on Wednesday said it was banning Post reporters from appearing on the company's programs because the newspaper published three photos from the video.
A newspaper spokeswoman declined to comment on the ban. She referred The Associated Press to an item on the Post's gossip page published Thursday that takes ESPN to task for allegedly outing Andrews.
"No one would have known that a sick voyeur had secretly videotaped ESPN reporter Erin Andrews nude in her hotel room, if the Mickey Mouse sports network hadn't sent a letter to an obscure Web site demanding that it take down its link to a fuzzy video of an unidentified blonde," the Post said in its popular "Page 6" column.
The Post quoted ESPN spokesman Chris LaPlaca as saying the network is acting "in concert with Erin and her team." A spokesman for the Bristol, Conn.-based company, which is owned by the Walt Disney Co., declined further comment Thursday.
ESPN executive editor John Walsh, in an interview Thursday on a syndicated radio show hosted by former ESPN employee Dan Patrick, called the Post's coverage embarrassing and reprehensible to Andrews.
"We felt if we were the parents of the victim of this crime and we saw the words 'New York Post' on our air that we wouldn't be doing justice to the person that we know is our colleague," he said.
ESPN last week sent a letter to a Web site demanding that the video be removed. The person who posted the video didn't identify the nude woman, but her attorney has confirmed the video was of the 31-year-old reporter.
The Post was one of several TV networks and newspapers that aired or published images from the video, which Andrews' attorney says was shot without her knowledge. Andrews plans to seek criminal charges and file civil lawsuits against the person who shot the video and anyone who publishes the material, attorney Marshall Grossman said.
Grossman previously told the AP that Andrews decided to confirm it was her "to put an end to rumor and speculation and to put the perpetrator and those who are complicit on notice that they act at their peril."
Post reporters, including columnists Lenn Robbins, Kevin Kernan, Joel Sherman and Mark Cannizzaro, are regular guests on ESPN shows.
Andrews, a former University of Florida dance team member, was an Internet sensation even before the video's circulation. Some Web sites have referred to her as "Erin Pageviews" because of the traffic she can generate, and Playboy magazine named her "sexiest sportscaster" in both 2008 and 2009. She has covered numerous sports for the network since 2004, often as a sideline reporter.