When David Meyers answered Paula Lavigne’s phone call on January 4, 2018, he had no idea that the following 15 minutes would cause a major disruption in his life. And now he is requesting that Lavigne – and her company, ESPN – print a retraction and an apology for how he was portrayed in her article.
Meyers claims that Lavigne was made aware of – and yet still omitted – highly relevant information and that she insinuated legal misconduct where none had occurred. He believes that ESPN and Paula Lavigne knowingly used a horrible and tragic news story – Larry Nassar – and linked it, and himself, to an unrelated incident to promote their own interests without any care of who may be affected.
An email sent to Paula Lavigne requesting comment for this story was returned by an ESPN spokesperson with the statement, “ESPN stands by its reporting.”
THE PHONE CALL
Meyers’ day started with a text from his old boss – East Lansing City Attorney Tom Yeadon – stating that he had gotten a call from ESPN’s Lavigne regarding Travis Walton’s assault and battery case from 2010. In a phone conversation with Yeadon, Meyers clarified with him that they had worked on this case together and had offered a six-month conditional civil infraction littering plea deal. According to Meyers, Yeadon acknowledged that was accurate, that he recalled reviewing the file, and that he had approved the plea offer.
Yeadon suggested that Meyers should speak to Lavigne to confirm and clarify that the East Lansing Attorney’s Office didn’t do anything outside the norm. Meyers agreed to talk with Lavigne after asking Yeadon to clarify with her that he had approved the deal and that it was within the normal plea-bargaining procedures. Yeadon told Meyers that he would do so.
Within five minutes, Lavigne called.
During their phone conversation, Lavigne relayed details of the police report to Meyers since he did not have the police report or witness statements with him while they talked. Meyers had done media interviews in the past and – had he known what Lavigne was attempting to link this matter to – he says he would have called her back after he had done a more thorough review of the details of the case.
When the report came out three weeks later, he was shocked at how his conversation with Lavigne was portrayed. In Lavigne’s lengthy Jan. 26 report – titled “Michigan State secrets extend far beyond Larry Nassar case” – she used twelve paragraphs to detail the Travis Walton/Ashley Thompson bar incident and the East Lansing City Attorney response, never once mentioning Tom Yeadon, but alluding to legal misconduct in the case:
ON JAN. 16, 2010, Michigan State junior Ashley Thompson and her friends met at an East Lansing bar to memorialize a friend who had died in a car crash. While the group sought comfort by being together, Thompson said she did not feel like socializing with strangers.
Travis Walton, who a year prior had helped lead Michigan State to the 2009 national championship basketball game and was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, approached Thompson’s table.
“He started speaking with us, and I’m like, ‘I’m sorry. Can you just give us a moment?’” Thompson told Outside the Lines. “And he was like, ‘You don’t know who I am?’ And I was like, ‘I really don’t care who you are.’ And he kind of got angry at that point, and I told him to not-so-politely F-off.”
She says Walton — who at the time was an undergraduate student assistant coach under Tom Izzo — instantly became angry.
“I barely got the words out of my mouth, and he came across and he struck me on the right side of my face,” she says. “I kind of reached back toward him, and I didn’t make contact, and then that’s when he swung with a second reach and hit me on the left side of my face and hit me so hard that it knocked me backwards off of my barstool.”
Thompson says she lost consciousness, and by the time she woke up, bouncers already had removed Walton from the bar. She made a police report that evening. Thompson made two trips to the hospital and was diagnosed with a concussion, bruises and scrapes, according to medical records provided to Outside the Lines.
An East Lansing Police Department report includes statements from two witnesses who confirmed Thompson’s account. Two days later, officers issued an arrest warrant for Walton for misdemeanor assault and battery. Walton pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on Feb. 23, 2010, and the presiding judge ruled that he was “OK to travel with the MSU basketball team” while his case was pending.
On April 21, 2010, almost three weeks after the Spartans lost to Butler in the Final Four, Walton’s assault and battery case was dismissed, and he instead pleaded guilty to a civil infraction for littering.
“The prosecuting attorney called and told me, and I was absolutely livid,” Thompson says. “I was heartbroken. It was just very upsetting that someone with a little bit of pull around the school, because he was a basketball star or assistant coach, could kind of just do whatever he wanted and kind of get away with it.”
David Meyers, the former assistant city attorney who handled Thompson’s case, told Outside the Lines he agreed to a plea deal with Walton after his defense attorney provided witness statements that contradicted Thompson’s version of events. He says Walton’s status as a former basketball player and current assistant coach did not figure into his decision. Meyers, who is no longer with the office, says he did not recall further details. The case file is no longer available from the city attorney’s office.
Thompson says someone in the city attorney’s office told her not to talk to the media or to anyone at Michigan State about the incident, so she did not report it to university officials. Meyers says he doesn’t recall ever having talked to Thompson and that he never discouraged victims from discussing their case with others.
Walton, an assistant coach with the NBA G League’s Agua Caliente Clippers in Ontario, California, told Outside the Lines that he never made any physical contact with Thompson and called it a “false accusation.” He says he could not recall exactly what Izzo said about the matter. On Friday evening, Walton was placed on administrative leave “pending further investigation.”
Meyers vehemently disagrees with Lavigne’s assertion that “he did not recall further details,” especially within the context of their nearly 15-minute telephone conversation.
During their phone call, Meyers confirmed with Lavigne that, in 2010, he had reviewed Travis Walton’s case and that it was then reviewed and approved by Yeadon, the supervising attorney. Meyers says he also corrected Lavigne on the call, clarifying that he believed the plea that was offered was a six-month conditional civil infraction litter – as opposed to a straight civil infraction litter, which was the information that Lavigne was working off.
“I know that doesn’t seem that important, but that’s just another small detail that she glossed over,” said Meyers. “The ‘hook’ in our civil infraction deferral was that it was an automatic guilty plea if they violated it. It was like probation without having to do probation. Given the number of cases we had – typically between 50-60 criminal pre-trial files a week – and the fact that we only had three or four probation officers for the entire court – it effectively allowed us to resolve cases without burdening the court; all the while still keeping tabs on the defendants for at least a certain amount of time after the resolution.”
Meyers says he made it very clear in his conversation with Lavigne that the same plea offer was made for “the large majority of cases” that were prosecuted by the City Attorney’s Office.
“While it may sound odd to someone that doesn’t work within that system,” Meyers said, “it was actually the normal plea resolution in these cases. And I told her so.”
According to Meyers, Lavigne told him that there were medical reports that were part of the police report that showed that the accusing witness had suffered a concussion. This surprised Meyers as he did not recall that as being part of the police report – but he could not verify it during the phone call since he did not have the police report at the time.
“I have zero recollection of any medical report or billing being submitted to me during the prosecution of the matter nor have I seen anything that would indicate that it was part of the police report,” said Meyers.
In an apparent response to subsequent criticism of her reporting, Lavigne sent a tweet on February 4, 2018 stating that the accusing witness gave her the medical records apart from the police report:
In her article, here is how Lavigne phrased it:
“She made a police report that evening. Thompson made two trips to the hospital and was diagnosed with a concussion, bruises and scrapes, according to medical records provided to Outside the Lines.”
Meyers maintains that Lavigne told him during their phone conversation that the medical report was in the police report.
“Lavigne said that there was a medical report attached in the police report that verified the victim had a concussion,” continued Meyers. “That was not actually true. At no time did I or the police ever have a medical report saying there was a concussion. Lavigne had a medical report that the accusing witness gave her but had not given the police. The medical reports were not part of the police report – or submitted to me – at any time. If there had been medical bills submitted to me, I would’ve tried to make those part of the plea deal as restitution.”
When asked about Meyers’ contention that the medical reports were not a part of the police report, here is what Ashley Thompson said:
“Part of them were. If you read the full report… you’ll see that I gave [the police officer] my statement and that the five photos got logged into evidence and then I also gave him a discharge summary that said I had a contusion on the back of my head and a concussion. But I didn’t pull the official record like I did this time when they asked for it for ESPN. But they did know about the injuries before they made that plea deal. They knew I went to the ER twice.”
The officer who wrote the police report referred to the documents that Thompson provided as “home care instructions from Sparrow Emergency Hospital.”
Here are the relevant portions from the police report:
“I was not a witness to this incident, I do not know what truly happened and I do not want to minimize anything Ms. Thompson may have experienced,” said Meyers. “While I know she was not satisfied with the resolution that the City Attorney’s office came to, it was resolved within normal procedures. We took her case and her statements seriously and that is why we originally charged it and – even after the conflicting witness statements were submitted – we did not dismiss the case outright. Having to tell an accusing witness that wanted their case pushed harder – that we were not going to trial – was one of the worst parts of my job. But it was part of my job. My frustration from this case, eight years later, lies with ESPN’s reporting. Not with Ms. Thompson.”
During his phone call with Lavigne, Meyers also mentioned that there were two witness statements that directly contradicted the accusing witness statements, but that he could not recall the exact details at that time and did not want to speculate on further details of the report as he hadn’t seen a report – and had hardly thought about the case – since 2010.
Lavigne relayed details of certain witness statements to Meyers over the phone – specifically those of the bar staff – which Meyers now knows to have been inaccurately portrayed to him during his conversation with Lavigne. However, at the time of their phone call, he says he told Lavigne that he could not verify the accuracy as he did not have the police report or witness statements with him while they talked.
“Upon re-reading the police report, I found that the two bar employees she was referring to did not actually see any of the alleged assault and rather they had only observed events after the alleged incident,” said Meyers. “One of them couldn’t even identify Travis Walton. In our conversation, Lavigne claimed that the bar staff witnessed the assault – which I again expressed surprised to – as my recollection, now confirmed by the police report, was that the only other witnesses in the report that stated they observed the alleged assault were two witnesses that were with the accusing witness.”
Here are the relevant portions from the police report:
During their phone call, Meyers specifically remembers telling Lavigne that during his entire career he has never told an accusing witness – including the one in this case – not to speak to anyone. He also specifically mentioned to Lavigne that he had never given preferential treatment to any Michigan State athletes in any of his prosecutions and that he always worked within the normal plea-bargaining procedures. Lavigne did not make this clear in her report.
While talking on the phone with Lavigne, Meyers also verified with her that he had never had contact with the Michigan State athletic department – including Tom Izzo and Mark Dantonio – and that he had left the City Attorney’s office on good terms when he went into private practice in January 2017. Lavigne also did not make this clear in her report.
In the final part of their phone conversation, Meyers communicated to Lavigne that he had prosecuted over a thousand cases a year for East Lansing and that Travis Walton’s case was resolved as any other case like this would be. After telling Lavigne to contact him if she needed anything else, Meyers said Lavigne indicated that she appreciated the clarifications and they then ended the phone call.
“She seemed like she understood that this was not a significant case and that there was nothing different about it,” said Meyers. “I obviously had no clue where she was headed with this. I didn’t even think she was going to put my name in the article. I just thought I was verifying some details that my former boss maybe had forgotten or didn’t have.”
“I mean, I was the former assistant,” continued Meyers. “Since [Lavigne] had spoken to the head city attorney, I assumed if anybody’s name is going in an article, it would be his. I truly had no inkling where she was going with this article from the conversation that I had with her. In fact, I figured after our conversation she would move on to other pieces of her investigation as this was so insignificant.”
Lavigne never called back to verify anything or to follow up on their initial conversation.
When I contacted Yeadon, he was willing to discuss his conversation with Lavigne.
“We had a long conversation,” said Yeadon. “I am not sure when in the conversation this occurred, but I specifically asked her why we were talking about a case from eight years ago. She said she was ‘working a different angle’ or something along those lines. I did state to her that the individual’s status as an athlete or affiliation with MSU would not enter into our decision-making process.”
“I saw no reason why my conversation with her about an eight-year old case would ever be tied to Nassar,” continued Yeadon. “I do not think I can say that she wasn’t ‘forthright.’ I asked and she did not specify the angle she was working and we continued our discussion. She wasn’t ‘forthcoming’ is probably more accurate.”
Three weeks later, on January 26, when the ESPN article came out, Meyers was shocked as to how he was portrayed.
“When I saw my name in that article, I was completely floored,” said Meyers. “The baseless allegations and false insinuations linking me with ‘cover-ups’ and including the despicable name of Larry Nassar in the title – I was in total shock and honestly have been since,” said Meyers.
“After reading the article and getting my hands on a copy of the police report I did realize that she misrepresented certain aspects of the incident during our phone conversation,” continued Meyers. “When I verified certain things – like the fact that I’ve never spoken to Izzo or Dantonio or that these types of deals were extremely common place – she affirmatively indicated that she understood those things.”
Meyers remembers that there were a couple things that Lavigne said in the conversation that were inaccurate.
“I remember being surprised when she said them and expressing that surprise to her,” said Meyers. “But I couldn’t state with certainty anything different as I didn’t have a file in front of me and she claimed that she had the full report.”
His concern grew as more articles were published that referenced ESPN’s report – and his name in connection with it.
“My wife and I continued to think the [East Lansing] City Attorney’s Office would put forth a clarifying statement that this was normal procedure – but that never came,” said Meyers.
In his professional life, Meyers – who had entered private practice one year prior – says he lost consideration for at least one major contract within a week of the article being published, specifically due to the optics of the article. Given the fact that some of his current clients were also becoming aware of the article, Meyers believes that Lavigne’s decision to misrepresent him in her article was causing him and his family harm.
It was affecting his livelihood.
“Lavigne spoke to me for all of 10 to 15 minutes, puts my name in an article like that, knowing that it would make me look bad and knowing she wasn’t providing true context,” said Meyers. “She has no clue about who I am or what I may be dealing with.”
“It damaged me, yes, but I think about if she had done this to a person that was dealing with worse stress in their life,” Meyers continued. “It appears that she couldn’t really care less, though. It’s obvious seeing the way she has responded to the statements regarding deficiencies in her reporting by publicly naming an 19-year-old kid who hadn’t even been charged – without ever having seen the police report – that she truly doesn’t care what damage she does to bystanders – and ESPN is backing that type of reporting – it’s despicable.”
Meyers and his wife of six years have two young children and he has kept them in mind as he takes this fight to ESPN. He views his demand for a retraction and an apology from ESPN and Paula Lavigne as an uphill battle — a “David versus Goliath type fight,” as he put it – but one he is willing to fight.
“In our society today, little guys get crushed by people or companies that have much larger platforms. I just can’t sit still and let that happen to me without fighting back with the small voice I have. In twenty or thirty years – when my kids or grandkids Google my name – I don’t want them to see that ESPN article and see that I didn’t respond.”
Putting out his statements and seeing Lavigne’s and ESPN’s responses has been like a “roller coaster” ride for Meyers and, whenever he discusses this situation, he continually reinforces the fact that he doesn’t want it to sound like he’s trying to make this a bigger deal than it is. He simply wants ESPN and Lavigne to be held accountable. And to apologize.
“I’m fully aware that this isn’t the worst thing that could happen to someone,” said Meyers. “But it really messed with my head. I felt like I had been completely misrepresented and there was basically nothing I could do about it. I was getting negative responses, I lost weight, I couldn’t focus, and I learned way too much about Twitter. My reputation and integrity is really important to me and – with one article – Lavigne blemished years of building that reputation.”
“As the days have passed, new info, responses and questions have arisen, and I feel the need to continue to clarify with facts,” continued Meyers. “Something that was not done by ESPN.”
On February 2 – one week after the article was published – when he became aware of the loss of the major contract that was caused by the optics of the ESPN article and the fallout surrounding it, Meyers contacted Yeadon and requested that either he or the City put out a clarifying statement indicating this plea bargain was normal. According to Meyers, Yeadon refused to do so at that time.
Yeadon says he disagreed with Meyers’ approach at the time. He thought that the best way to handle the media attention was to ignore it and let it go away on its own. He now understands why Meyers felt the need to fight back.
“With regard to the best way to handle the media attention, I don’t think I fully grasped what he was going through at the time,” Yeadon said. “Perhaps he was right to get some letters published in his defense. Perhaps it just kept this story in the press for longer. He needed to do what he thought was right for himself.”
At that point, Meyers realized he was on his own in this fight. He also knew that he had done nothing wrong. So he decided to defend himself and on February 4, he issued a statement to the Detroit Free Press. After the Free Press printed his statement, Lavigne tweeted that she was told by a “current city official that it was not common in an assault case to plea to a civil infraction.”
Meyers said he knew that the facts – which Lavigne could have easily obtained, he says – would prove that tweet inaccurate and the unnamed city official was, in fact, clearly lying or was not familiar with East Lansing prosecutions and was speaking out of turn.
I asked Yeadon if he was the “current city official” that Lavigne mentioned in her tweet. He confirmed that he was.
“I still don’t know why she did not name me in the article,” said Yeadon. “That was not at my request. David [Meyers] was just doing his job. He did it appropriately in this case. He does not deserve to be the subject of any ridicule for that. I am sure I would have agreed to it and signed off on it if it was not a mutual decision. David was very good about involving me in any case that might hit the press. I am sure this would have been one of those.”
Yeadon says very clearly that the Walton plea deal was normal and that he had in fact told that to Lavigne.
“With regard to the plea deal, it was normal under the circumstances,” Yeadon said. “We do look at assault cases more closely than other run of the mill disorderly conduct cases to see if a reduction to a civil infraction is warranted, but many factors go into that decision. I mentioned some of those factors to Ms. Lavigne. Without the file I did not know which might have been present in this case. Apparently because I did not mention ‘conflicting witness statements’ in my conversation with her, she assumed that I said this would have been an unusual plea offer. I subsequently explained to her that the strength of our case is one of the big factors that we look at to see if a civil infraction [plea deal] is warranted.”
On February 6th, Meyers gathered stats for all of the closed assault cases in East Lansing from 2014 through 2017 and established that the 52 assault and battery cases closed during those years resulted in the following:
- 34 – conditional civil infraction (typically litter), similar to Travis Walton’s case
- 5 – outright dismissal
- 4 – dismissals as part of another plea agreement
- 8 – plea of guilty or no contest, either alone or as part of a plea agreement
- 1 – a finding of guilt by jury trial
“For Paula Lavigne or any ‘city official’ to state that the plea offer given to Travis Walton was not typical, uncommon or preferential,” said Meyers, “is not true. I can tell you with 100% certainty that Walton got zero preferential treatment in this matter. I communicated the same to Lavigne [on our phone call].”
On February 7th, the Detroit News published an in-depth article which included reporting from all different sides of the issue as well as a portion of the stats Meyers had put together. The article classified the plea deal as a civil infraction instead of as a six-month conditional civil infraction. In Meyers’ opinion, the nuanced difference between those two terms has a significant impact on the understanding of the case as a whole and it is very important to note the difference.
After reading that article, Meyers said he was frustrated that – instead of contacting an attorney that practices in East Lansing, who would know the way the local government handled these cases – the News quoted a Wayne State law professor as saying that it is “not typical” to have an assault pled to a littering civil infraction.
John Fraser of the Grewal Law Firm – who practices in mid-Michigan and didn’t represent either side but did review the docket information in this case – confirmed Meyers’ assertions in a radio interview (63:00 mark) with Ryan Schuiling onFebruary 1st. I reached out to Fraser and confirmed that these comments still are representative of his thoughts on this case.
“It’s not shocking to see that this is the outcome for first time offenders – no prior criminal record – who are charged with a crime in East Lansing, if it’s the East Lansing City Attorney’s Office.”
“From what it appears, based on the docket information – and not terribly unusual – is that there was a conditional dismissal in this case, negotiated by Mr. Walton’s attorney, Andrew Abood, where basically the case was dismissed, he paid a fine. They classified it as a littering ticket but it’s just a civil infraction. The dismissal would become permanent so long as Mr. Walton stayed out of trouble for a certain period of time. It becomes an informal type of probation.”
“Is there a difference in the way that [student-athletes] are actually prosecuted? I haven’t seen anything to suggest that.”
In response to an email sent to Lavigne requesting the opportunity to ask her a few questions and/or give her the opportunity to comment, ESPN spokesperson David Scott replied:
“Paula Lavigne forwarded your below request to me. Paula is not available to speak with you. If you would like a statement to include in your reporting, you may use: ‘ESPN stands by its reporting.’”
In his email, Scott also referenced a story ESPN published on February 16, 2018 that discussed Lavigne’s conversation with Meyers. Here is the pertinent portion of that article that he wanted to make sure that I had seen:
David Meyers, the former assistant city attorney who handled the case, told Outside the Lines in January that he agreed to a plea deal with Walton after his defense attorney provided witness statements that contradicted two other witnesses to the alleged incident. Meyers has been highly critical of Outside the Lines’ reporting, telling Michigan media outlets in recent weeks that he did nothing out of the ordinary in Walton’s case and the arrangement was approved by his former boss and current City Attorney Tom Yeadon. Yeadon was quoted in a recent Detroit Free Press article as saying, “Oftentimes in assault cases, there are differing versions of who did what to whom. But that’s still a fairly common plea agreement.”
But in a Jan. 4 interview with Outside the Lines about Walton’s case, Yeadon told an Outside the Lines reporter more than once that the conclusion to such an assault case was not common: “It is unusual that we would, for an assault, give that specific type of a plea arrangement especially if there [are]medical bills and that kind of thing unless we had some other problems with the case.” Such “problems,” he said then, could have been uncooperative victims, missing witnesses or procedural problems, but none of those were listed as factors in the 2010 case.
When contacted by Outside the Lines on Tuesday to address his conflicting statements, Yeadon confirmed his Jan. 4comments and added, “When we have conflicting statements, it is not unusual. Perhaps I did not convey that clearly … I didn’t mean to mislead you, and I’m sorry if I did.”
He said it indeed was common practice to plead assault cases to civil infractions because the end result would typically be the same as if the city had invested resources in a criminal prosecution; there would be a fine along with an informal probationary period, yet the alleged perpetrator would not have a criminal record. “[Walton] wasn’t proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Did he admit responsibility to an offense and pay a fine? Yes,” Yeadon said, noting that Walton’s $500 was the highest the city could impose.
After having read that article, Meyers said he was upset that ESPN hadn’t learned their lesson and appeared to have actually “doubled down” on their unethical reporting.
“I was further disgusted to see that instead of apologizing for the omissions and insinuations of their first article, that Lavigne and ESPN actually doubled down on their blatant disregard for others by naming a 19-year old kid that wasn’t even a part of her original article and had not even been charged with anything – stating herself that the ‘details of the allegations and circumstances remain unknown,’” said Meyers. “My anger and disgust about what Lavigne and ESPN continues to do is not just about me – our society should not tolerate this type of irresponsible journalism, and a company with any integrity should not tolerate it either. They are hurting real people. Ethical investigative journalism can be very important and spur necessary change – but to do what ESPN is doing – they should be held to a higher standard.”
A CALL FOR A “RETRACTION AND AN APOLOGY” FROM ESPN
Meyers said that the response since he made his statements has been good and that the community’s response – as well as ESPN’s response – energized him to want to go further in “exposing what [ESPN] did” because he “values our media immensely and would like it to be a force for honesty, education and facts – not tabloid hit pieces for profit.”
“There is such an ironic twist within Lavigne reporting on this article,” said Meyers. “One, it’s an article that is written under the guise that it is advocating for victims – but actually makes victims through its false insinuations and, two, her false insinuations lead one to believe that myself and others were unethical in their duties, when she herself – by failing to properly investigate and making false insinuations – has, in my opinion, engaged in unethical journalism.”
Meyers maintains that the ESPN article posits the exact opposite of what actually happened.
“Her report – at least in regard to the portion regarding my involvement – insinuates that victims have not been taken seriously,” said Meyers. “I actually did take the victim seriously when I reviewed the initial report and recommended authorizing the initial charges based off the victim and her witness statements. I was actually a part of the decision to originally charge Walton. His charge was not authorized by the police; they investigated this in the normal manner, submitted a report to the City’s Attorney’s office, we reviewed the report, recommended the charge and then the head city attorney signed off on the complaint and warrant.”
“If I had wanted to ‘cover-up’ an issue,” said Meyers, “Why would I have recommended and initiated charges in the first place?”
Meyers acknowledges that journalism is not necessarily an easy profession to do well and that it’s difficult to always show a full, complete picture of every story. But, he says, given the insinuations that Lavigne made within her article – without investigating further and by omitting highly relevant information that she was made aware of – that is not an excuse in this case.
“To put the slant that she did and associate it with the topic that she did – it’s just not ok,” said Meyers. “It causes real damage, and not just to me or others named in the article – it damages the ability to focus on the matters that should be focused on. And, even worse, Lavigne and ESPN are attempting to profit off it. That just can’t go unanswered.”
“ESPN and Paula Lavigne should stay away from making insinuations of legal misconduct in their ‘investigative journalism’ pieces if they do not have a better grasp of the legal system than that of my four-year old son,” continued Meyers.
Meyers isn’t pulling any punches.
“ESPN and Paula Lavigne may have a much larger platform to speak from – but they picked a fight with the wrong person,” said Meyers. “I didn’t ask for this to be brought upon me – nor do I want it – and I will defend against these misrepresentations and false insinuations that have been made until it is rectified. I have facts on my side and I will not sit idly by to be defamed, slandered and cast in a false light.”
“As I’ve said before, I continue to love and support the East Lansing and MSU communities, the students, all the amazing people I worked with at 54B District Court, East Lansing Police Department, and the legal community,” continued Meyers. “I hope they will help me in this fight against irresponsible reporting.”
Meyers is demanding that ESPN – and Lavigne – take responsibility for their actions.
“I detest that a municipal case, that was resolved 8 years ago – in the normal manner – has been made into a sideshow,” said Meyers. “Accuracy in reporting matters. Reporting relevant facts matters. ESPN and Paula Lavigne knowingly used a horrible and tragic news story – Nassar – and linked it to an unrelated incident to promote their own interests without any care of who may be affected – taking the focus off relevant issues, the fixes and the healing that needs to occur.”
“I hold myself to a higher standard – as do most of us – and even though we may not have a large platform individually, if people stand together and demand truth as opposed to supposition, in the interest of good for all, we can direct our attention to matters that should be focused on,” continued Meyers. “ESPN should publish a retraction and an apology immediately.”