ESPN's Phillips takes leave, admits to affair

HARTFORD - (AP) - ESPN baseball analyst Steve Phillipsacknowledged having an affair with an assistant at the cablenetwork and has taken a leave of absence during the playoffs.

Phillips said Wednesday in a statement released by ESPN that herequested the leave "to address this with my family and to avoidany unnecessary distractions through the balance of the baseballplayoffs."

ESPN said it took "appropriate disciplinary action" when thishappened in August, but would not comment further.

Police say 22-year-old ESPN production assistant Brooke Hundleybegan calling Phillips' wife, Marni, on Aug. 5 after he broke offthe affair and sent her a letter graphically describing theirrelationship and Phillips' birthmarks. She allegedly told Phillips'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 hishappiness," reads the letter police said is from Hundley. "I'mcoming out now because I'm sick of hiding and sneaking aroundbehind your back."

The police report was first reported Wednesday by the New YorkPost.

The 46-year-old Phillips is a former general manager of the NewYork Mets. In 1998, Phillips admitted having sex with a teamemployee, who sued for sexual harassment. That case was settled outof court.

Marni Phillips called police Aug. 19 when she came home to findHundley in her driveway. "I knew instinctively that this was thewoman Steve was involved with and I was terrified," she wrote in astatement to police.

Hundley's car smashed into a stone column as she backed out ofthe driveway and she escaped by driving across the lawn. MarniPhillips said she discovered a note describing her husband'srelationship with Hundley attached to her front door.

Later that evening, the Phillips' 16-year-old son told hisparents that Hundley had posed as a high school classmate and sentrepeated instant messages asking personal questions about hisfamily and his parents' marriage, according to the police report.She also posed as a second friend, contacting him through the son'sFacebook account, the report said.

"This woman has clearly displayed erratic behavior anddelusional tendencies," Phillips said in a statement to police. "She has shown up at our house. She has taken on the identity of atleast two people (minors) to violate our son (a minor). I haveextreme concerns about the health and safety of my kids andmyself."

Phillips also signed a statement to police that he would notpress charges. The status of the police investigation was unclearWednesday. The report indicated a detective planned to interviewHundley next week when she returned from vacation.

Neither Phillips, Hundley nor Wilton police immediately returnedcalls Wednedsay from the AP. ESPN said Hundley is still employed atthe network.

According to the Wilton police report, Phillips told police andhis 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.Marni Phillips told police she had received "harassing phone callsand text messages" from a woman who claimed to have informationabout her husband.

Marni Phillips filed for divorce Sept. 14, according to courtrecords.

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