In a surveillance video that surfaced online, ESPN reporter Britt McHenry can be heard hurling a string of profane verbal abuse at a woman working at a towing company. ESPN released a statement confirming that McHenry would face punishment for her actions.
"Britt McHenry has been suspended for one week effectively immediately," the statement said.
The video, which was published on LiveLeak, quickly went viral after its release on Thursday. The Washington D.C.-based reporter spoke angrily to the counter clerk, who then pointed to the surveillance camera.
In the footage, the 28-year-old can be heard saying, among other things:
"I'm in the news sweetheart. I will ******* sue this place."
"That's why I have a degree and you don't."
"I wouldn't work at a scumbag place like this. Makes my skin crawl even being here."
"Do you feel good about your job? So, I could be a college dropout and do the same thing?"
"Maybe if I was missing some teeth they would hire me, huh?"
When the clerk states that McHenry’s hair looks like it could use a touch-up, she promptly responds: "Cause I'm on television and you're in a ******* trailer, honey."
She then adds, "Lose some weight, baby girl."
The video was featured on Deadspin on Thursday. Hours later, McHenry issued a statement apologizing for her behavior:
"In an intense and stressful moment, I allowed my emotions to get the best of me and said some insulting and regrettable things. As frustrated as I was, I should always choose to be respectful and take the high road. I am so sorry for my actions and will learn from this mistake."
The counter clerk, Gina Michelle, reportedly told Busted Coverage that McHenry’s car had been towed on a Sunday night by Advanced Towing after she left it in the parking lot of a Chinese for two hours after the restaurant had closed. McHenry maintained that she dined at the restaurant.
Both Michelle and McHenry called the local news site ARLnow.com to report the incident. The news site stated that "some who have dealt with Advanced Towing have backed the former Arlington worker [McHenry]."
A few days before Advanced Towing towed McHenry’s car, the company was in the news because one of the drivers had started to tow a car from a CVS parking lot. According to NBC Washington, the man stated that his kids had been in the car at the time, waiting for him to exit the store.