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June 08, 2017

Britt McHenry defends woman who berated Philly cop on video

The former ESPN correspondent who came under fire in 2015 for dressing down a tow lot attendant in a viral video is speaking out in support of Colleen Campbell, whose tirade against a Philadelphia police officer was captured on video and became national news this week.

Britt McHenry can identify with Campbell, a fellow South Jersey native, who lost both her jobs as a freelance news producer at PHL17 and as a bartender at Devil's Den in South Philadelphia as a result of the Sunday night outburst outside Helium Comedy Club in Center City.

"This is just a post for my friends, but if you're sharing the video of the Philadelphia reporter, take a second look at yourself," McHenry wrote Wednesday on Facebook. "I've been in a situation where a video was put out for the sole purpose of trying to ruin my career. In my case, the tape was edited and used as extortion for money."

In Campbell's case, she was caught yelling obscenities at a police officer on a five-minute-long video clip and telling the officer to "lick her a--hole" and that "society hates" police. Her outburst, which went viral on social media, came after she was ejected from Helium for allegedly disrupting a show.

WARNING: The video below contains extreme profanity. 

Police were shown handcuffing Campbell, who was later charged with resisting arrest, criminal mischief, disorderly conduct, simple assault, terroristic threats and related charges. She is due to appear in court next week.

McHenry acknowledged Campbell was out of line, but she criticized those who "gleefully film, share and consume the takedowns of someone's successful life and career."

"No one is perfect," McHenry wrote. "I've seen every one of my friends make mistakes, and I've made a ton of them. I hope nobody I care about has to go through that shame publicly."

ESPN suspended McHenry for one week following the viral video of her outburst over getting her car towed that day. She wrote about the experience last December, and she said Wednesday that the incident left her with “serious long-term health effects from the cyber-shaming and bullying.”

McHenry lost her job in a massive ESPN layoff in April.

Campbell, 28, said in a Wednesday statement that her behavior in the video does not reflect the person she is, adding that she believes she was drugged that night. She also said she has also received sexual and violent threats since the video began circulating on the web.

"I am ashamed and embarrassed by my actions," Campbell said in a Wednesday statement. "The person in that video was not the real me."