The crazy soap opera in Washington continues, and it has nothing to do with Robert Griffin III. Wednesday, Jessica McCloughan, the wife of Washington GM Scott McCloughan, was discovered to have tweeted at ESPN reporter Diana Russini accusing her of performing oral sex to get an NFL scoop. Jessica deleted her twitter account as the story started to gain steam. The Redskins originally announced that the twitter account in question was fake.
An hour later, she apologized, in a statement that seemed professionally crafted.
“I deeply apologize for the disparaging remarks about an ESPN reporter on my personal Twitter account,” Jessica McCloughan said in a statement to PFT, which was issued by the franchise. “The comment was unfounded and inappropriate, and I have the utmost respect for both the reporter and ESPN. I regret that my actions have brought undeserved negative attention to the Redskins organization and its leadership. My comments in no way reflect the opinions or attitudes of the organization and I regret that my behavior has in any way negatively impacted the team and its loyal fan base.”
There was one troubling detail about that apology. It wasn’t the first time that she had tweeted at Russini, as detailed in our earlier post.
Today, Radar Online has quotes from a family member of Jessica McCloughan, identified as her sister-in-law Shannon Rutherford, which affirms that she thought her husband was having an affair with the reporter.
“Shannon Rutherford, Jessica’s sister-in-law, told Radar that she knew about Jessica’s belief that her husband was cheating on her with the reporter, confirming that she has been aware ‘for a few weeks’ about the ‘side chick’ prior to the Twitter scandal.”
Rutherford also told Radar that the Redskins pressured Jessica McCloughan to release an apology statement that wasn’t true.
Those statements from the relative would seem in line with the earlier tweet. However – and this cannot be emphasized enough – that does not mean there actually was an affair. The wife could be paranoid about it, or have an unfounded belief, without it being true.
ESPN came out with a statement after the apology last night:
“Dianna is an excellent reporter who should never have to be subjected to such vulgar comments. We are obviously extremely disappointed by today’s developments.”
But these comments by the sister-in-law do provide a context to why the controversy began in the first place. It does not appear to have been a one-time random reaction to a big story involving the team her husband helps run.