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John Skipper
FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2014, file photo, ESPN President John Skipper smiles during a news conference in New York. TV executives in the U.S. and Canada have long argued that the best value for your money comes through packages of hundreds of channels. The industry has also resisted offering full choice because overall subscription and advertising revenue could decline. “We don’t sell it alone right now because we generate more revenue by being in a larger package,” Skipper said at the recent Code Media conference. Asked if the leading sports network would cost too much on its own given the rising cost of sports rights, he replied that was “just a hypothetical and ultimately, specious mathematical problem.” (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Report: ESPN president John Skipper resigned over cocaine extortion plot

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The former president of ESPN says he resigned from the sports network after an extortion plot by his cocaine dealer.

John Skipper told the Hollywood Reporter on Thursday that "they threatened me." Skipper says he understood the threat put himself, his family and his professional life at risk.

He says he discussed the situation with Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger on Dec. 15, 2017, and they agreed Skipper "had placed the company in an untenable position." He resigned on Dec. 18 after leading ESPN since 2012, citing "a substance addiction."

Skipper says he used drugs recreationally and that it never impacted his work at ESPN.

He says he has undergone treatment for his substance use and hopes to re-enter sports media as a consultant.

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