NESN anchor Marc James is being accused of harassing an aspiring young actress/model who declined his invitation to get together for drinks.
In a lengthy post on Facebook, 22-year-old Alyssa Labrie claims James, who was hired by NESN last May, became “instantly irate and blew up in my face with personal attacks” when she told him she didn’t want to meet socially. Her post includes images of texts she says James sent her. One reads: “I’ll be honest Alyssa, I’m a network TV anchor & a nationally syndicated talk show host. The fact that you claim you’re quote ‘Busier than Me’ is a joke & almost an insult.”
Labrie said she decided to write about her experience with James and post the texts she says he sent, because she considers his behavior harassment.
“If [James] is allowed to be a public face representing a fairly large television network, then I have the right to show the world that they’re watching an insecure and very rude man who receives a polite decline and decides to harass a young woman for exerting her right to say no,” Labrie wrote.
NESN spokesman Gary Roy sent a statement on behalf of NESN Thursday afternoon: “Earlier this week Marc James was suspended for a week as a result of his inappropriate actions and has written an apology expressing his regret.”
Labrie said she met James last spring when he introduced himself as she was having modeling photos taken on a street in Northampton. She said she gave him her phone number for professional reasons, but it quickly became clear James’s interest was social.
Last weekend, after James invited her to meet for a drink in Northampton, Labrie texted that she already had plans. She says he texted back, “I’ll make sure next time to book an appointment in advance.”
Her response: “I’ll be honest, Marc, I’m not sure if that’s going to happen. I’ve been really busy with my work and school. I was hoping to network with you professionally when I gave you my contact but I think we run in different circles and I’m not really sure getting drinks would be a good idea. I really wish you all the best though.”
Labrie said that after more contentious texts from James, the NESN personality texted: “Good luck in that Metropolis of Northampton.” And later: “I would assume you would do better than your Walmart Peroxide Dyed Hair! Good Bye! Good Riddance!”
According to the NESN press release announcing his hiring, James is a Western Massachusetts native who previously worked for CBS Sports Radio, serving as a weekend and fill-in sports talk host. He was also a sports-talk radio host in Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, and Charlotte, where he was known by his given name Marc Benarzyk.