One day after Laurie Fine stated in a news conference that she planned to sue ESPN for libel and defamation of character, one of her husband's accusers spoke out in detail for the first time in years.
Mike Lang, who denied in 2002 that Bernie Fine ever molested him, told the Post-Standard that he lied back then because he didn't want his father to see him in a public scandal.
“Listen. Believe me,” Lang told the paper. “Things did happen to me.”
Lang is the stepbrother of Bobby Davis, another one of Fine's accusers. Davis was the original accuser, but it wasn't until Lang's admission that ESPN decided to broadcast the story in November. Davis and Lang then sued Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim for slander, but a judge dismissed the lawsuit last week.
Lang told the paper that he agreed to file the lawsuit in order to keep the story in the public eye. He also said that he was “kind of glad” that the suit against Boeheim was dismissed.
With that said, Lang maintains neither he nor his stepbrother are lying about their accusations – despite originally denying it 10 years ago.
“[Fine] grabbed me, it was nonchalant. I always felt a little weird,” Lang said. “But nothing happened to me like it did to Bobby.”
In Laurie Fine's suit against ESPN, she states that Lang asked her husband to let his sons work as ball boys – the same position Lang held when he alleges Bernie Fine molested him.
According to Laurie Fine's lawsuit, the fact Lang was willing to let his son work as ballboys under Bernie Fine shows that Lang isn't credible. Moreover, Lang said he went to Bernie Fine's birthday party in 2006 and has also asked him for Syracuse tickets over the past few years.
“I tried to use Bernie for whatever I could,” Lang said. “I know he used me. I figured he owed me a little bit of something.”
Lang also said that he hasn't had any contact with police or investigators since November, when he had his initial interview.
Below is a phone conversation between Laurie Fine and Bobby Davis, the original Bernie Fine accuser. ESPN released the video on YouTube today in response to Laurie Fine's attorney accusing ESPN of tampering with the tape.