Somebody Secretly Recorded Rachel Nichols in Her Hotel Room

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Creeper alert here.

Somebody apparently recorded a private Rachel Nichols conversation and sent it to Deadspin (!) as an attempt to “expose” her.

Deadspin says the anonymous person sent them four videos, which were cell phone recordings of a video feed, showing Nichols talking to somebody else on the phone from her Orlando hotel room, inside the Disney bubble.

From the Deadspin story:

Nichols (whose face never appears on camera) and the other party to the call discuss Nichols’ career, ESPN staff, and the World Wide Leader’s decision about who will host the network’s coverage of the NBA Finals. In light of privacy concerns and our being unable to view the entirety of the conversation recorded, we have chosen not to detail the conversation or post the video of the call. Sources have told Deadspin that the entire video of Nichols’ conversation was 30 minutes long. Deadspin received about four minutes of edited footage. It is also worth noting that the videos were sent to Deadspin as an attempt to discredit Nichols’ job status within ESPN, and with the public at large, with the anonymous source texting our reporter that the videos would “expose” Nichols as a “back-stabber” and a phony ally.

The more disturbing story, however, is that the videos appear to be that of a video feed streaming out of Nichols’ hotel room in Orlando, Fla., where she is currently ensconced in the NBA bubble. Nichols is clearly unaware the video feed set up in her room for remote filming of her show is running while she discusses internal ESPN matters. Rather than alerting Nichols that her video stream was still live or simply shutting the feed off on ESPN’s end, according to sources, an unidentified ESPN employee began to record the video feed on a phone, cut it up and disseminated it to others in the company. Deadspin is not certain whether anyone inside ESPN sent the recording of the videos to our reporter.

That sounds.. disconcerting.

I can say from my experience in television that we would typically record lengthy raw video feeds, which all employees can then access in our system. This is how we would take pre-recorded segments and teases and edit them before inserting into newscasts. As such, there are hot mics portions of the video where anchors or meteorologists are talking about random stuff, like the Eagles game or their dog or cat. In this case, the perpetrator had access to one of these feeds and shot it off his phone, because he didn’t want I.T. people to be able to trace any clipped footage back to him specifically.

This has shades of the Ashley Bianco story from last year. She was the fired CBS employee who was accused of leaking video that showed anchor Amy Robach complaining about ABC trying to sweep the Jeffrey Epstein story under the rug. Bianco denied that she was the whistleblower and said she only made a clip of the video and saved it in ABC’s internal system. 

Anyway, the person who secretly recorded Nichols is gonna be in deep doo doo if they can identify him or her. ESPN issued a statement supporting Nichols and denouncing the leaker, via TMZ:

Time’s yours.