There has been a lot of uproar this week in my town, of Northampton, after a local actress revealed in a Facebook post the incessant messages she had been receiving from a NESN anchor.
Alyssa Labrie, 22, was doing a photoshoot for headshots in Downtown Noho back in July when a man randomly claiming to work "in the business" approached asking for her contact. Hoping to network, Labrie gave him her number, only to end up receiving a series of unprovoked text messages from him for nearly three months. These ranged from requests to see each other and talk to photos and videos serving as evidence of his successful career.
At one point when he asked to meet up in August, Labrie said she was too busy. His immediate response was to point out that he “on network television six nights a week,” so if he could find time to meet up, surely she could. This is just one example of his use of his success in his career to shame hers (Note: he is 10 years older than her... even though he acts like he's 10 years younger.)
Realizing that he had intentions that went beyond a simple network connection, Labrie stopped responding to his messages at large, hoping he would get the hint. Last week, however, he texted her again, asking if she’d like to meet up for drinks. Labrie politely declined, saying she had plans. Now realizing that subtlety wasn't getting her point across, she finally explained that she had only given him her contact for professional purposes.
Then this delightful conversation happened:
Caroline Phinney of Babe wrote an article about the incident after an interview with Labrie. Blogger Ali Reid took it a step further, securing an interview with the anchor himself to expand upon the piece. She spoke with Labrie, who revealed the man be NESN anchor and reporter Marc James.
Reid went on to email James, only to receive a “No Caller ID” phone call hours later.
He claimed that someone else was responsible for the text messages. Supposedly, on the night he last asked her to meet up with her, he was watching football with friends, when a girl he was with took his phone and started responding to Labrie’s messages, claiming a girl named Alyssa was “being a bitch” to him. He thus claims he had no “idea” any of the subsequent messages had even been sent and that this girl was the one who blocked Labrie. James claims he couldn’t even read the old messages because they had been deleted from his phone, and that he was “extremely irate” upon hearing about the incident. “This is definitely not me… at all, at all.” Read the full response in Reid's article.
Reid goes on to reveal her discovery, from a simple Google search, of multiple charges against James’ character. A particularly telling example is an online forum where a user claims that James' last name is actually “Benarzyk” but he had to change it to James because he “burned so many bridges in Miami and Tampa, that he didn’t want it to find him in his new gig.” You can read that forum .
Credentials aside, I have so many problems with this guy.
These text messages are just one example of how men in the entertainment industry mistreat and abuse women daily. Young women seeking careers in entertainment are particularly vulnerable because success in the industry is at times entirely dependent on who you know. It should be obvious to anyone that to dangle a network connection in a young woman’s face, only to use it as a method of getting something more, is cruel and despicable.
The part that really gets me, though, is his obviously fraudulent claim that his “friend” wrote the text messages. There are so many problems with his response that I just have to pull it apart:
- ...No one would text someone they DON’T know, from someone ELSE’S phone for this long. Sure, maybe for a single text, but there is some serious emotional attachment to the argument here that only James could have had. I mean, look at the use of caps (which, apparently, is also something James does frequently).
- Why would his “friend” feel that she has the right to block a woman and delete messages from his phone?
- Shouldn’t he have realized his friend was on his phone for that long and gotten suspicious?
- Why would he trust his “friend” with his phone if she is the type of person who would do this?
- It’s funny how he texted Labrie for months by his own will but it’s only on the night when she made the Facebook post that he claims his “friend” was the one texting.
Honestly, this argument is almost farcical. You’re not fooling anyone, buddy. You got caught.
Maybe it’s time for you to change your name and run away again. Or you could, y’know, start treating women with respect.